05/13/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Random House CEO Peter Olson To Step Down: Sources

Peter W. Olson, the chief executive of Random House and one of the most powerful figures in American book publishing, will step down in the next few weeks, according to two executives at Bertelsmann, the German media conglomerate that owns the division.

Mr. Olson, who has run Random House, the world's largest consumer publisher, since 1998, has come under mounting pressure in recent months as Bertelsmann's financial results have been damaged by lower profits at Random House and steep losses in its American book clubs, which he also oversees.

Bertelsmann's recently-appointed chief executive, Hartmut Ostrowski, has lost patience with the performance of this American outpost and wants to install his own person, said these executives, who spoke on condition of anonymity because it involved internal personnel issues.

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