Karp succeeds Carolyn Reidy, who died earlier this month of a heart attack at the age of 71.
Karp has been with Simon & Schuster since 2010. Most recently he was president of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, which encompasses numerous imprints including Atria Books, Avid Reader Press, Gallery Books, Scribner and Simon & Schuster.
“Jon embodies the values that Carolyn instilled at Simon & Schuster, and he is well suited to guide the continued growth and evolution of this incredible global brand,” said Bob Bakish, ViacomCBS president-CEO. “Jon was a key member of the leadership team that consistently delivered strong results for Simon & Schuster, while expanding its readership across genres and formats. He is a highly skilled executive who is deeply committed to the collaborative process of publishing, and will no doubt build upon a storied legacy of success.”
ViacomCBS disclosed that it would seek a buyer for Simon & Schuster in March, just before the coronavirus lockdown began. Bakish has said his goal is to focus ViacomCBS operations on content production to feed the company’s linear and streaming platforms as well as outside buyers. Following the merger of Viacom and CBS Corp. in December, the combined entity is under pressure to cut costs and demonstrate a content-driven growth strategy to investors.
Simon & Schuster has been part of ViacomCBS and its predecessor companies since 1975.
“For 96 years, Simon & Schuster has been the gold standard for publishing books that satisfy and illuminate readers, and I am grateful for the opportunity to inherit this great legacy,” Karp said. “We will continue to build on the strong foundation that Carolyn Reidy and the leadership team have in place to publish books we believe in and love.”
Before Simon & Schuster, Karp worked for Hachette Book Group and Random House.