Christie Ann Hefner is an American businesswoman and activist. Hefner served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Playboy Enterprises from 1988 to 2009. Hefner is the daughter of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.
Hefner was born in Chicago, Illinois. She is the daughter of Mildred Williams and Hugh Hefner. Her parents had separated by the time she was five. When her mother remarried, she moved to Wilmette, Illinois. There she graduated from New Trier High School. She attended the National Music Camp at Interlochen during the summers from 1964 to 1969.
She graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University with a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature in 1974. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year.
After college, she free-lanced for the Boston Phoenix for a year, writing movie reviews. Thereafter, she moved back to Chicago and started working at Playboy.
In 1982, she became president of Playboy Enterprises, and was made chairman of the board and CEO in 1988. She was the longest serving female CEO of a publicly traded company. She extended its magazine franchise overseas, to 25 localized foreign editions and also developed the company’s profitable pay television business — the first time a magazine successfully leveraged its brand into a television network. The company also acquired adult-oriented businesses such as Spice Network and ClubJenna. Continuing the company’s electronic expansion, in 1994 Christie led the Company onto the Internet with the launch of Playboy.com, the first national magazine to launch a web site, and built an international, profitable, multi-revenue stream business including premium content, e-commerce, advertising and gaming, both online and mobile. She also built a highly profitable direct marketing, catalog and e-commerce business in film and music through both acquisition and organic growth. And, she greatly expanded the leveraging of the Playboy brand via licensing. In her last year as CEO, Playboy generated close to $1 billion in global retail sales, 80% of the sales to women. When she left over 40% of her executives were women. For three years, she was named to FORTUNE’s list of “Most Powerful Women.”
In 2008, she released a memo to employees about her efforts to streamline the company’s operations, including eliminating its DVD division and laying off staff.
On December 8, 2008, she announced her plans to step down as CEO of Playboy. Hefner said that the election of Barack Obama as the next U.S. president had inspired her to give more time to charitable work, and that the decision to step down was her own. “Just as this country is embracing change in the form of new leadership, I have decided that now is the time to make changes in my own life as well,” she said. She stepped down from her position at Playboy on January 30, 2009.
In May 2011, Hefner was named executive chairman of Canyon Ranch Enterprises, a resort company that operates six premier spa destinations and an online website providing health and wellness advice.
As of 2015, Hefner was chairman of the board of Hatchbeauty Brands and served on the board of the D.C. based Center for American Progress Action Fund, a progressive public policy think tank. Christie also serves on the advisory boards of the R.D. Offutt company, an international, multi-billion dollar family owned agricultural conglomerate and Edge Beauty, the world’s leading direct-to-consumer company in creating, designing, manufacturing and marketing unique, culturally relevant niche fragrance brands.
- I’m surrounded by very powerful women and very progressive men.
- I came to Playboy not expecting to stay. But after five years, I found myself really enjoying the business world, and I realized I had some skill.
- I developed a great sense of self-confidence when I was very young.
- I don’t think about financial success as the measurement of my success.
- No, I never thought about my father’s money as my money.
- Being a CEO still means sitting across the table from big institutional investors and showing your leadership and having them believe in you.
- My mother thinks I could have even run a larger company.
- Billy not only had a distinguished career in the Legislature, but he also has great business instincts and has done exceedingly well making investment decisions in both stocks and private ventures such as real estate.
- I have invested in the stock market since I was very young.
- I had higher math SATs than in English – yet I became an English major in college.
- Not only did I enjoy the creative side of Playboy and enjoy being surrounded by people who are curious about life, but I also love the analytical and hard business side of it.
- We don’t fight about money… I hate to see people fight about money.
- From the time that I can remember, I worked to make money – either baby-sitting, or one year wrapping gifts at a department store at Christmas, so I could have my own money.
- I had an allowance, but I had to do things around the house to earn it. I think I always wanted my own money.
- Even though money seems such an objective topic, it can also be the most intimate, and possibly harmful, part of a relationship.
- I’m basically a gift-giver.
- I’ve lectured at the Harvard Business School several times.
- I never have to this day, because my money is the money I earn.
- I know what the attitudes of the readers are: These are guys who love women and respect women.
- I’d guess that 80 percent of the people who work for Playboy are feminists.
- I think in terms of what I am able to accomplish and build.
- In college, my big money memory was saving up to buy a car with my boyfriend, whom I lived with.
- Half of my employees are women.
- I expected to go into journalism or law.
- Actually, my parents were separated by the time I was about 2 years old.
- But maybe because the dot-com world gives people positions at a younger age, and many women are prominent in this business, it will help change the view about who can run big companies.
- I defend the right of almost everything to be published… because I think that you’re better off in trusting the marketplace than allowing other people to make that decision.
- It’s important not to limit the amount of their own money that candidates can spend, but to give other people access to enough money to run competitive races.
- I don’t know what a world would be like if you do away with sexy images.
- The very first stock I bought right out of college was Berkshire Hathaway.
- Some, but much of my money is tied up in Playboy stock.
- Most people sell stock to pay taxes, but I didn’t want to sell any stock.
- Well, I grew up around the magazine and was part of a generation that was embracing our sexuality.