Saturday, June 21, 2008

Likely choices for Hearst's top job listed

With Vic Ganzi (right) out as chief executive of Hearst Corp., speculation now turns to a successor. Fortune's editor at large Richard Siklos says "those who would logically be seen in the running are Cathleen Black and David Barrett, who run Hearst's magazine and television businesses respectively. (Barrett, unlike Black, is a Hearst trustee.) One person who will be closely watched is James Asher, the company's senior vice-president, who worked closely with Ganzi. Another name worth mentioning is Steven Swartz, the second-in-command in the newspaper division who is well regarded at the company and further from retirement than Barrett or Black - but perhaps is more logical as a second-in-command candidate." Siklos's article also provides an overview of how the top level of the Hearst Corp. operates:
    [I]ts highest echelons have the mystique of a kind of secret society. And one of the qualities of this society is that its members don't leave. This culture stems from the trust that The Chief, as William Randolph Hearst was known, set up. The trust is basically run for the benefit of heirs who The Chief would never know; it's meant to dissolve when the last remaining Hearst who was alive when he died passes on - actuaries hired by the company have pegged that at 2045.

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