Carolyn Reidy, Simon & Schuster chairman and chief executive officer, dies at 71

Simon & Schuster’s chairman and CEO, Carolyn Reidy, died aged 71 from a heart attack.

Dennis Eulau, CFO of Simon & Schuster, shared the news Tuesday in a letter to the staff.

In 2008 Reidy was appointed CEO of Simon & Schuster. She had begun as president of the trade division at the organization in 1992. She started her career at Random House publishing in 1974. She also worked with William Morrow, and later became Avon Books’ president and publisher.

As an editor and a mentor, Carolyn encouraged us to reach out and do just the little bit more; to do our best and then some for our writers, in whose service she served with unbridled and enthusiastic passion and great humor every day, “wrote Eulau in the announcement. Her intense intellect and enthusiasm, and her desire to learn more about a particular topic if it could motivate us to be better, were matched by her absolute and utter accessibility: She sent congratulatory notes to the workers as they were promoted, and colleagues in every corner of our organization still believed they had a first-person interaction with her, so they could reach out to her to address every subject so expect a positive response in exchange.

Eulau credits Mrs. Reidy for the success of number of books by authors like Pulitzer Prize winners David W. Blight, Anthony Doerr, Frank McCourt, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Siddhartha Mukherjee and David McCullough as well as world leaders and newsmakers like Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dick Cheney, Walter Isaacson and Bob Woodward.

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