Mike Perlis is a media industry CEO with deep experience managing a wide range of content and multimedia brands. He joined Forbes Media in 2010 from SoftBank Capital, where he served as a General Partner for 10 years and continues to be Special Partner.
How did you get into the media/tech industry?
I was recruited from my bartender job in New Hampshire to be the Marketing Director for the Bretton Woods Resort and Mt Washington Hotel.
Tell us about Forbes. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?
Forbes Media will soon celebrate its 100th birthday. It was founded by BC Forbes (Steve Forbes' grandfather). We've been a mission-driven company since 1917. I joined the company in late 2010 with a vision to evolve Forbes from a traditional magazine publisher into a global media, branding and technology company - and I'm proud to say that we've done so successfully. 2014 will mark our best financial performance since 2007. At the center of our strategy and success is the unique technology that we've developed in-house that powers our media and branding initiatives. We will continue to leverage the power of the Forbes brand and grow the business with a more global scope. We celebrate entrepreneurs, free market capitalism and the successes that can result. We share the stories of people, places and companies that are disrupting, innovating and making significant achievements in business. That mission will remain the same, and we ambitiously innovate around how we deliver this content across multiple platforms. Our digital business, brand extensions, global footprint and technology prowess are the most recent examples.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to Forbes' success?
The largest is the 2014 sale of a majority interest in the company to Hong Kong-based Integrated Whale Media Investments.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
Disruptive technology that changes the landscape constantly has become the new normal.
Have fun, make money.
"With all thy getting get understanding."
Your greatest success as CEO of Forbes? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
The sale of a majority stake of a 100-year-old family business has been my greatest accomplishment to date as CEO of Forbes.
Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Ask for forgiveness not permission.
How do you motivate your employees?
With a firm, well-defined and communicated strategy that is executed honestly and transparently.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Miso Cod from Gotham Bar and Grill.
What literature is on your bed stand?
Boris Johnson's "The Churchill Factor"
Role model - business and personal?
My Mom...the author and musicologist, Vivian Perlis.
Forbes and our Lobster Boat
What's next for Forbes?
To further our success in building our business to be as big as the Forbes brand!
Before joining SoftBank, he served as President and CEO of Ziff-Davis Publishing until its sale in 2000. Earlier in his career, Mr. Perlis served as Publisher of GQ, President of Playboy Publishing, President of TVSM, Publisher of Runner’s World and Men’s Health, and Chairman and CEO of IDG Peterborough. He began his career in media as the co-founder of special interest publisher New England Publications in Camden, Maine.
Mr. Perlis currently serves on the boards of BuzzFeed, Spanfeller Media Group and YourTango. He served on the board and was chairman of Associated Content before its sale to Yahoo! Previous board observer positions include GSI Commerce (sold to eBay), The Huffington Post (sold to AOL) and KickApps (sold to KIT digital). He is on the Board of Advisors of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and is a trustee of Outward Bound International.