Baroness Rebuck to receive The London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award 2016

Baroness Rebuck to receive The London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award 2016

London, Wednesday 9 March 2016: The London Book Fair will present the LBF Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 to Gail, Baroness Rebuck, DBE, Chair of Penguin Random House, UK.

Gail Rebuck is a towering figure of British and international publishing, who has contributed much to the industry both as a business leader and through her passionate support for reading and literacy. As Chair and Chief Executive of Random House UK for over 20 years, Gail Rebuck built a formidable international publishing house with a hugely influential and successful author list. Together, authors published by Random House have included numerous international and UK bestsellers and have been awarded 32 Nobel Prizes, 18 Booker Prizes and more than 100 Pulitzer Prizes.

Gail Rebuck remains an influential figure within the publishing industry, as Chair of Penguin Random House UK, and she also provides an important voice speaking on behalf of arts, culture and education in the House of Lords, since she joined in 2014.

She has been a driving force and tireless ambassador behind many of the most influential reading and book campaigns in the UK; from foundation of World Book Day Charity in 1998, as Chair of Quick Reads adult literacy, to helping create Books Are My Bag, the recent campaign to promote bookshops.

Gail was awarded a CBE in 2000, voted Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year in April 2009 and awarded a DBE in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Gail, Baroness Rebuck, DBE, said: “I am so thrilled to receive this award which is such an honour as it comes from the industry I have loved for nearly 40 years. I humbly follow in the footsteps of many friends and colleagues, including inspirational publisher Sonny Mehta and much missed agent Deborah Rogers.

Being a publisher has never simply been a job for me but a passionate vocation. It has been a privilege to work with many of the most talented publishing teams in the industry and there can be no job in the world to match the excitement of being one of the first to read a great author’s new work, discover a new voice or be stimulated by a new idea. Curiosity and a love of books drive everyone in this industry. It is all about the authors.

This year the LBF have put story-telling at the heart of their activities and, as publishers, we need to continue to campaign for the importance and creativity of telling stories but also for 100% literacy to ensure that the truly transformative power of books is available to all.”

Robert Harris, author, said: “Gail is a unique combination: she has helped shape British publishing at the highest level for almost a quarter of a century, yet has never lost her passionate enthusiasm for individual books, or ceased to care about her authors. Over the years, many of us have become her good friends, and I am proud and delighted to salute her on behalf of all the writers she has published so brilliantly.”

Ed Victor, Ed Victor Literary Agency, said: ”In American football, a player who can run, pass and kick is known as a “Triple Threat”. Gail Rebuck is a Triple Threat in publishing terms because she can edit, publish and manage — all with consummate skill and grace. Such a well-deserved award!”

Tim Godfray, Chief Executive of the Booksellers Association said: “The Lifetime Achievement Award is richly deserved. Gail is unbelievably busy, and yet she still gives her time to industry initiatives that promote books and encourage reading, like Books Are My Bag and Quick Reads”.

David Roche, Non-Executive Chair of The London Book Fair Advisory Group said: “Gail Rebuck is a once in a generation publishing giant – a force of nature who has driven herself, her publishing companies and her authors to enormous global success. With her involvement in World Book Day, Quick Reads and the National Literacy Trust, Gail has always been a passionate leader and advocate for literacy for all. I am delighted that London Book Fair can recognize the breadth and distinction of her contribution with this Lifetime Achievement Award.”

The London Book Fair’s Advisory Board, under the chairmanship of David Roche, Non-Executive Chair, The London Book Fair, voted for Gail Rebuck from a shortlist of international publishing figures.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises an individual who has made a truly significant mark in the sphere of global publishing. It is open to publishers, agents, editors, scouts and anyone else involved in international publishing from any country in the world. Last year the award was presented to Peter Usborne. Previous recipients include Deborah Rogers of Rogers, Coleridge & White, Sonny Mehta of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., Lord Weidenfeld, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, Christopher MacLehose, now of MacLehose Press, John Lyon of Little, Brown (posthumously), Lynette Owen of Pearson Education, Peter Mayer of The Overlook Press/ Duckworth Publishers, Drenka Willen, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Antoine Gallimard, Éditions Gallimard, Jorge Herralde of Editorial Anagrama and Michael Krüger of Hanser Verlag.

The Lifetime Achievement Award in International Publishing will be presented at the International Excellence Awards, an invitation-only event on Tuesday 12 April 2016, 6.30pm in The Conference Centre, Olympia, London.


Media enquiries: Please contact Dani Freeman or Edwina Boyd-Gibbins at Midas PR, Tel: 020 7361 7860,

Notes to editors:


Tuesday 12 -Thursday 14 April 2016


The London Book Fair (LBF) is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking place every spring in the world’s premier publishing and cultural capital, it is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. LBF brings you direct access to customers, content and emerging markets. LBF 2016, the 45th Fair, will take place from Tuesday 12-Thursday 14 April 2016, Olympia London. LBF’s London Book and Screen Week will run for the third year, with the book fair as the pivotal three day event within a seven day programme. London Book and Screen Week will begin on Monday 11 April. For further information, please visit:


The London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award in International Publishing celebrates an individual’s career dedication to breaking down borders in international publishing. Anyone involved in international publishing, from any country in the world, can be nominated. The award is judged by The London Book Fair Advisory Board, made up of senior figures in the international publishing industry.


2014 – Deborah Rogers, Rogers, Coleridge & White, UK

2013 – Michael Krüger, Hanser Verlag, Germany

2012 – Jorge Herralde, Editions Anagrama, Spain

2011 – Sonny Mehta, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., US

2010 – Antoine Gallimard, Éditions Gallimard, France

2009 – Drenka Willen, Harcourt, USA

2008 – Peter Mayer, Overlook Press and Duckworth, UK & USA

2007 – Lord Weidenfeld, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, UK

2006 – Christopher MacLehose, MacLehose Press, UK

2005 – Lynette Owen, Pearson Education, UK

2004 – John Lyons, Little,Brown, UK & USA

About Gail Rebuck

Baroness Rebuck, DBE is Chair of Penguin Random House, UK, and sits on the company’s Global Board of Representatives. She also sits on the Group Management Committee of the Board of Bertelsmann, the majority owner. Prior to this, from 1991-2013, she was Chair and Chief Executive of The Random House Group, one of the UK’s largest trade publishers with subsidiary companies in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India.

Born in London Gail Rebuck was educated at the Lycée Français de Londres and took a degree in Intellectual History at the University of Sussex in 1974. She has a diploma from The Wharton Business School, honorary doctorates from the Universities of Sussex, Exeter and Oxford Brookes and she is an Honorary Fellow of the London Business School.

She started her publishing career as a Production Assistant, moving on to become an Editor and in 1979 joining the Hamlyn Group as non-fiction Publisher to launch a new mass-market paperback list.

In 1982 she became a founder director, of Century Publishing and as a Publishing Director of their non-fiction list was instrumental in the rapid growth of the company. Century merged with Hutchinson in 1985 and was acquired in 1989 by Random House Inc. In 1991, Gail was appointed Chair and Chief Executive of Random House UK with overall responsibility for the publishing company, its distribution centres and overseas subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa.

In 1998, Random House was acquired by the Bertelsmann international media group, uniting all the Random House imprints with those of Transworld Publishers to create The Random House Group Ltd with Gail as Chair and Chief Executive.

Gail was a member of COPUS 1995-97, on the Creative Industries Task Force, chaired by Chris Smith, 1997-2000; a Trustee of the Institute for Public Policy Research 1993-2003; on the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Judge Institute 2004-2008; Non-Executive Director of the Work Foundation 2001-2009 and head of their Nominations Committee; member of the Government Panel for Fair Access to the Professions 2010; Director of Skillset 2009-2011 and currently a Patron.

Gail was a Non-Executive Director of BSkyB from 2002-2012 and a member of the Audit Committee for 10 years. She chaired BskyB’s The Bigger Picture Committee. Gail is currently a Non-Executive Director of Koovs Plc, a fashion etailer aimed at the Indian market, Belmond Ltd., the hotel group and Guardian Media Group.

Gail also chairs the Council of the Royal College of Art (Trustee 1999 – 2014 and Chair from 2015); the Cheltenham Literature Festival (2013-;) and sits on the Board of Cheltenham Festivals; she is a former Trustee of the National Literacy Trust (2007-2014, now patron;). She chairs the Quick Reads adult literacy initiative (2006-;), part of the Reading Agency and founded the World Book Day Charity in 1998 on behalf of the Publishing industry.

Gail was awarded a CBE in 2000, voted Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year in April 2009 and awarded a DBE in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours list. She was appointed to the House of Lords in 2014.

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