Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: #42, Kristin Cochrane
Our annual ranking of the people whose smarts, connections and clout are changing the city as we know it
Penguin Random House
42 Though publishers Penguin and Random House have been married since 2013, it was not until the summer of 2015 that the two moved in together—to their gleaming new 53,000-square-foot headquarters at Front and Blue Jays Way. As president and publisher of Penguin Random House, Cochrane is easily the most powerful person in the industry. She and her team of 51 editorial staff and 160 other employees oversee 18 imprints covering all manner of content, and publish 500 works per year. A couple of years ago, when an industry contact handed Cochrane a partial manuscript of Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train, she jumped on it. The resulting book has had 15 printings to date and has spent 42 weeks (and counting) on the Globe’s bestseller list. Unlike many president-publishers, she maintains direct involvement in handling manuscripts and working with her writers. Among her roster is young adult fiction legend Judy Blume, whose novel In the Unlikely Event was published in June to positive reviews.
Cochrane reads approximately 200 books a year.