The Times reports today that longtime Random House CEO Peter Olson may be on the way out, dismissed by anxious Bertelsmann executives worried about Random's declining profits. As the Times points out, Olson looks to be the victim of "the same bottom-line calculus" that led him to fire Ann Godoff back in 2003 — and new Bertelsmann head Hartmut Ostrowski may not be looking to replace Olson with a known property from American publishing. Indeed, sources tell the Times that the replacement may not even be American. As Ostrowski ascended to his position after his success running the German company's printing-services division, it's quite possible that the new chief executive of the biggest book publisher in the United States might be some career executive fresh off his success with German course packs or something.
Basically, this could be the real-world version of Jack Donaghy being named Vice-President of East Coast Television and Microwave-Oven Programming for General Electric. Hell, as of last week's 30 Rock, Donaghy's available — Bertelsmann should give him a call!