Women Business Owners Encouraged to Participate in Public Policy by Former CEO & Chairman of Playboy Enterprises, Inc.
profoundly from the time I joined the company in 1975 to when I stepped down
last year. There were virtually no women
in leadership when I started. Now women
owned companies employ more people than the Fortune 500,” Christie Hefner,
former Chairman & CEO of Playboy
Enterprises, Inc. told a group of about 100 women attending Women Impacting Public Policy’s (WIPP) Regional
Meeting in Chicago.
father asked her to join the company after her parents divorced. She thought she’d try it for a year or so never
expecting to fall in love with the people, the creativity and the analytics of
the business. In 1988, when the company began
experiencing problems, Hefner took the reigns as Chairman and CEO. She recapitalized the company, making it the
first NYSE corporation allowed to issue a
second class of stock with disparate voting rights. She restructured operations and initiated the
company’s highly successful electronic and international expansion. Because of her vision, Playboy Magazine
became the first publication on the Internet.
By the time she stepped down, the company was generating close to $1
billion in global retail sales.
As the opening
event speaker, Hefner noted the most dynamic growth in the economy comes not
from large corporations but from smaller, entrepreneurial businesses. Additionally, she told the group she
recognizes how busy they are managing two jobs – running their businesses and
taking care of their families. However,
she encouraged them to tackle one additional job by becoming engaged in public
policy. “It is critical you have a voice
at the table for public policy,” she explained. “Because the government is
making decisions all the time that impact our businesses, the only way we can
make sure they make the right decisions is to engage in that process,” she
WIPP is the
voice for women in business in our Nation’s Capital. It is a national bi-partisan public policy
organization that advocates for and on behalf of women and minorities in
business in the legislative process of our nation, creating economic
opportunities and building bridges and alliances to other small business
More content from the conference is available on SBTV.com.