UPDATE: Playboy Names New CEO
Scott Flanders tapped to serve as chief executive, replace Christie Hefner.
Playboy Enterprises today appointed Scott Flandersâ€”president and CEO of Irvine, California-based media company Freedom Communicationsâ€”chief executive and to its board of directors. The company also appointed Olympus Media senior vice president and CFO David I. Chemerow as non-executive chairman of the board.
Flanders [pictured] replaces interim CEO Jerome Kern, who took over late last year when Christie Hefnerâ€”longtime CEO and daughter of Playboy founder Hugh Hefnerâ€”stepped down.
Citing unidentified sources, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday morning that Playboy was eying Flanders for the chief executive role.
"This is a particularly exciting time to assume the role of CEO," Flanders said in a statement. "The evolution of the media industry and the global recession's effect on consumer spending intensify the need for a creative and effective business model."
Playboy last month reported a $13.7 million net loss during the first quarter of 2009. Revenues for the period were $61.8 million, down more than 20 percent from $78.5 million during the same period last year.
During the earnings call, Kern said the company is considering "radical changes" to its print business model, including price increases, a frequency reduction and lowering its rate base of 2.6 million. The company said it would combine Playboy's July and August issues into a double issue.
Through the first quarter, Playboy saw ad pages fall 22 percent, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. The company said it expects to report a 39 percent decline print ad revenues during the second quarter compared to last year.
Until last week, it was rumored that Playboyâ€”which in February said it is open to sale talksâ€”was being courted by Virgin Atlantic CEO Richard Branson.
As of 4 p.m., Playboyâ€™s stock was trading at $2.97, down nearly 11 percent from its previous close.
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