Monday, December 8, 2008

Christie Hefner Exits Playboy Enterprises

At a time of unprecedented turmoil in the publishing and media markets, Playboy Enterprises Chair and CEO Christie Hefner has announced her plans to leave the company she has led for 20 years.

Hefner, seen in the photo above addressing The Commonwealth Club of California on January 19, 2005, has been credited with stearing the company through decades of changing tastes in America's political, cultural, and business scenes. From closing the company's iconic nightclubs to selling its iconic skycscraper in Chicago (sorry; so much of the magazine – like it or dislike it – is iconic), Ms. Hefner changed the company into a multimedia player with considerable successes in video and the internet. The company has, arguably, not recovered from the loss of big-pocket advertisers after it became targeted by right-wing critics in the 1980s. But it remains a major multimedia player, and Ms. Hefner has been a high-profile media executive with frequent public appearances (at everything from the old Internet World expos to the aforementioned Commonwealth Club, where she discussed globalized media companies).

Her exit marks yet another turning point for the company founded by her father in 1953. No doubt, publishing industry eyes will be closely watching her successor for indications of how much he or she will change the direction of the – sorry – iconic company.

This just in: MSNBC interviews Christie Hefner about her future plans; click on the video feature to view the interview.


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