Last week, Playboy Enterprises tapped Scott N. Flanders to be its new CEO. Since 2006, Flanders has been CEO of the Irvine, Calif.-based Freedom Communications, the country's 14th largest media company. Before that, he was CEO and President of Columbia House Co., the mammoth direct marketer of music and videos. He also is the former president of MacMillan Publishing, the world's largest computer and reference publisher.
Flanders, a C.P.A. and law school graduate, has a storied track record of increasing revenues at these varied enterprises. In a recent interview with FOLIO Magazine, he blamed the advertising recession for Playboy Magazine's sagging sales. Although, he remains a "big believer in print," he acknowledged that "Playboy is having to shrink to grow in the future." Note to Mr. Flanders--the demographic attracted to the magazine hates the word "shrink." Flanders predicts that Playboy will rebound and characterizes himself as a "change agent" at every media company he has led.
With Playboy trading at $2.84 a share on the NYSE, his initial challenge may be to airbrush the magazine's financials to attract a buyer. Flanders will make his debut at Playboy at the same time as Miss July.