Case Study: Playboy Online
Christie Hefner, daughter of Hugh Hefner, is the former chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises.
During her tenure, Hefner restructured operations and initiated the Company's highly successful electronic and international expansion. The Company launched its branded channel in 1982, making Playboy the first magazine brand to be successfully leveraged into television. In 1994 led the Company onto the Internet when Playboy became the first national magazine on the World Wide Web.
Hefner is active in a number of local and national organizations. She was the first woman elected to the Chicago chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization. Hefner helped found the Committee of 200, an international organization of preeminent women business owners and executives. She serves on the boards of Rush University Medical Center, Canyon Ranch Health Resort, and on the board of governors of the Paley Center for Media. Hefner is also on the Advisory Boards of the American Civil Liberties Union and The Creative Coalition, and a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She also spent four years as project board chairman for the CORE Center, raising $30 million to build this innovative clinic and research facility, which opened in Chicago in the summer of 1998. The CORE Center conducts clinical research and provides prevention education and outpatient care for people with HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases.
Hefner: Well, I think we benefited from our successful expansion into pay television. We also were an early believer in the opportunity that cable represented in the early days to create real destinations under brands, and so we launched Playboy TV in 1982 and saw the ability to successfully extend the content and brand that way. So I think that made us more curious about new media opportunities. And then, we’ve done some new media stand-alone products with various partners. I remember doing a Playboy interview CD-ROM with IBM that was searchable and included video and still and audio along with texts. So, we were watching it from the beginning, I think, and then I had the good fortune of meeting Jim Clark who started Mosaic which became Netscape, and he was really excited also about the opportunity of Playboy online and helped kind of create the infrastructure that allowed us to not just go through a CompuServe or a [Prodigy] or an AOL but actually create our own destination site.
Christie Hefner was a pioneer in moving Playboy magazine to the internet.
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