IDG CEO Stepping Down to Run Venture Fund
By Tony Silber and Matt Kinsman
Patrick Kenealy, CEO of International Data Group
since September 2002, is stepping down as of the first of the year to return to IDG Ventures, a venture-capital subsidiary that is starting a new fund.
“It’s one of those peaceful transitions,” Kenealy said. “If you look back at the last 20 years of IDG, the top management reporting to Pat McGovern changes every few years.” Kenealy said a new CEO will not be named, and that division heads will instead report directly to McGovern.
Kenealy, who started IDG ventures in 1996, returns to the VC world to raise and serve as general partner of Pacific 2, a fund that is expected to raise $200 million for investment in early-stage technology companies. IDG Ventures has about $1.5 billion under management.
Kenealy said that his biggest accomplishments in the last three years have been to restore profitability and revenue growth (IDG has more than 300 magazines including 15-plus major U.S. titles and more than $1 billion in revenue), the re-establishment of a fully decentralized structure and move the company to the Web. “We moved at least five points of revenue the last three years, every year, to the Web,” Kenealy said. “Now it’s at least (every) quarter.”
However, despite claiming that half of IDG's revenue would come from online by 2008, Kenealy has been criticized by some observers for not keeping pace with the Internet.
“It’s been very satisfying watching the whole company turn like that,” Kenealy said. “But being the CEO of IDG is also something where you want to turn it over to the next person or else you end up fried.”