Christie Hefner Exits Playboy
Christie Hefner, the daughter of Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner, is stepping down as chairman and CEO of the adult magazine company established by her father more than five decades ago.
Ms. Hefner will remain as CEO until Jan. 31 and stay as a board member until her successor joins the company. In the meantime, six-year director Jerome Kern will be chairman.
“Christie has overseen Playboy’s transition from a domestic magazine publisher to a global lifestyle and multi- media company,” Mr. Kern said. “She directed the company’s entry into TV, online and mobile and helped each of those businesses reach profitability. Under her leadership, the Licensing Group grew from insignificance to become the company’s most profitable business.”
Named as one of Forbes’ “100 Most Powerful Women” in 2005, Christie was credited with taking the “Playboy empire beyond print.”
Christie joined Playboy in 1975 and was named chairman and CEO in 1988.
The troubled economy is said to be at the root of Christie Hefner’s decision to step down as chairman and chief executive of Playboy Enterprises.
Like many magazine and newspaper publishers, Playboy has a brand name that is more widely known than read. Circulation has fallen as more people looking for adult entertainment and racier pictures of nude women turn to free sites online.
In October, Playboy said it planned to cut 55 employees and eliminate 25 vacant positions due to the troubled economy.
The company last month reported a net loss of 5.2 million dollars in the third quarter on revenue of 70.4 million dollars, down from 82.8 million dollars in the same period last year.
January 2009 marks the 55th anniversary of Playboy magazine.
Photo: NBC News