Karen Ferns, joint Managing Director of Random House, New Zealand for some seven
years was farewelled by more than 90 people from all parts of the industry at a function in Auckland on Thursday night. Publishers and booksellers came from across New Zealand to thank her for her support of the industry.
Undoubtedly there were tears in many eyes as Karen’s contribution to the industry, her leadership of Random House, her professionalism and the personal mentoring that she has given many were highlighted.
Speakers included, Nicola Legat, New Zealand Publishing Director of Random House, Kevin Chapman, immediate Past President of the Publishers Assn of New Zealand, and Joan MacKenzie of Whitcoulls on behalf of booksellers. Joan particularly mentioned the number of times that Random House, under Karen’s leadership had won top honours in the annual Book Industry Awards for almost every year that she had been MD.
Karen herself spoke of the passion she has for the New Zealand book industry and its people, and the confidence she has in it despite the pressures it faces. She said she is excited about the new path that lies ahead for her, whatever that may be.
Karen has left the Random House group as Joint Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, as a result of the integration of Penguin and Random House to form Penguin Random House New Zealand, which is to be led by former Penguin New Zealand MD, Margaret Thompson.
by Lincoln Gould