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Penguin Acquires World Rights to Four Seasons Business Book

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July 17 – July 24, 2008 Edition

Penguin Acquires
World Rights to Four
Seasons Business Book

NEW YORK, NY/7/14/08–David Davidar, President and Publisher of Penguin Group (Canada) and Adrian Zackheim, Publisher of the Portfolio imprint of Penguin Group (USA), have jointly acquired world rights to the autobiography of Isadore Sharp, founder of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and one of the business world’s greatest entrepreneurs. The book, tentatively titled The Story of Four Seasons, is scheduled for North American publication in April 2009. The deal was negotiated by Michael Levine of Goodmans LLP.

The publication of The Story of Four Seasons will also mark the launch of Penguin Business in Canada, under the direction of Andrea Magyar. Ms. Magyar’s most recent success was The New Retirement by BMO Chief Economist Sherry Cooper, which went to #1 on the Canadian bestseller lists within a week of publication.

Said Mr. Davidar: “This is a remarkable book about a remarkable man. It is a global book which needs a publisher that is not only global but is also aggressively international in its outlook and Penguin is that and more, in North America and in key export markets in Europe, Asia and the Middle East where Four Seasons has hotels in development. It is also one of the few global brands started in Canada, and this is the first time Mr. Sharp has told his story. We are indeed honoured to publish this book.”

The book will be edited and co-published in the U.S. by Adrian Zackheim, one of the world’s pre-eminent business book publishers and currently president and publisher of Penguin USA’s Portfolio imprint. He has published some of the most important business bestsellers of recent years, including Good to Great by Jim Collins, The Spirit to Serve by Bill Marriott, and Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams.

“We are particularly excited to be working with Isadore Sharp and Four Seasons,” said Mr. Zackheim. “While there are many imitators, Four Seasons is the innovator in the hospitality space and far beyond­they set the bar on every component of customer experience and employee satisfaction. How this remarkable company was built, property by property, and how it is still managed as an intensely personal labor of love, is one of the most enlightening stories in business today.”

For many, Four Seasons is the very definition of luxury and its reputation for customer service is legendary. Sharp built and opened the first Four Seasons hotel on Jarvis Street in Toronto in 1961. A modest hotel, its focus on personal and attentive care resonated instantly with the business travellers for whom it was designed. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts now include 78 hotels in 32 countries with 40 properties under development. The company’s credo of treating guests and employees alike with genuine respect and caring has been a fundamental driver in the company’s success, leading Four Seasons to be named one of the world’s “Top 100 Companies to Work For” by magazine 11 years running.

Sharp’s story is compelling on many different levels. It is the story of the son of immigrants who created one of the world’s most valuable brands­a brand that is a sector leader in the high-end hospitality business. It is the inspirational story of a man who in the early stages of building his business made the Golden Rule­do unto others as you would have them do unto you­the foundation of his company, decades before the concept became a basic business principle. It is the story of an intuitive business genius who responded to every advantage and disadvantage that the market could throw at him with flair and innovation, ensuring that Four Seasons never stopped growing in size or reputation. And finally, it is the heart-warming story of a father, husband, and leader who never once let the pursuit of profit overwhelm his compassion, warmth and humanity.

Penguin will launch the book with a major North American marketing and publicity campaign, pursuing serialization and press coverage in key business publications and broadcast media, promotion with travel and leisure media, prominent front of store placement across North America, national advertising and gift book promotion.

Penguin Group (www.penguin.com), one of the world’s largest English-language trade book publishers, has established divisions and key market positions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, India, China, South Africa, New Zealand and Ireland. The Penguin Group is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.