Gail, baroness rebuck, dbe

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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 General 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 and was responsible for their CSR activities on behalf of the Board. Gail is currently a Non-Executive Director of Koovs Plc, a fashion etailer aimed at the Indian market.
Gail also chairs the Cheltenham Literature Festival (2013-;) and sits on the Board of Cheltenham Festivals; she is a Trustee of the National Literacy Trust (2007-;) Chairs the Council of the Royal College of Art (Trustee 1999 – 2014 and Chair from 2015) and a Trustee of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation (2012-;).  She chairs the Quick Reads adult literacy initiative (2006-;), part of the World Book Day Charity which she launched in 1998.
In addition to being a member of the Bertelsmann Management Committee, Gail is also UK Country Coordinator for Bertelsmann, bringing together Random House, Fremantle Media (part of the RTL group), Arvato Services, BMG music rights and University Ventures.

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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