No. 10 Victor Ganzi (President and CEO): Hearst Corporation
After an 18-year career and six as CEO, Victor Ganzi unexpectedly kissed Cosmo, Esquire and the rest of the Hearst Corporation goodbye. Ganzi reportedly resigned following disputes with the board about the global publisher’s future direction, even though Ganzi led the company to record revenue in 2007. Despite the seismic changes rippling through the media landscape, Ganzi managed to boost magazine revenue 6%, while the company’s large stakes in ESPN, A&E, Lifetime, and the History Channel, also notched a 10% raise in revenue. Ganzi’s departure was surprising in an organization whose founder, William Randolph Hearst, created a culture in which “people don’t leave.” A new CEO has not been named, as the story of Hearst’s future, and its role in the publishing industry, continues to unfold. One thing for certain is that whoever is named successor faces the challenge of maintaining Ganzi’s momentum in a marketplace where print ad revenue is down, and online media continues to rise.