Britannica.com nabs Playboy pro

CHICAGO: Britannica.com, the dot-com era incarnation of the old Encyclopaedia Britannica, has hired away Playboy Enterprises’ director of corporate communications to expand its fledgling PR operations.

CHICAGO: Britannica.com, the dot-com era incarnation of the old Encyclopaedia Britannica, has hired away Playboy Enterprises’ director of corporate communications to expand its fledgling PR operations.

CHICAGO: Britannica.com, the dot-com era incarnation of the old

Encyclopaedia Britannica, has hired away Playboy Enterprises’ director

of corporate communications to expand its fledgling PR operations.



Rebecca Theim left Playboy March 17 and starts as executive director of

PR at Britannica today. She will report directly to CEO Don Yannias and

work alongside director of corporate communications director Tom

Pannelas.



Theim’s arrival doubles the company’s internal PR resources. ’We’re not

as lean as we used to be,’ Pannelas joked.



Britannica chose Theim over a host of candidates (Heidrick and Struggles

directed the search), basing its selection on her online experience and

her ’experience with a traditional brand that is moving online,’

Pannelas said. Her Britannica responsibilities will include promoting

the Web site, raising the company’s profile in Chicago, fostering

internal communications and launching new products.



Theim, who declined to comment on why she made the job switch, had been

something of a one-woman show at Playboy, handling corporate and online

PR as well as overseeing public appearances for Playboy chairman

Christie Hefner. Playboy has not set a timetable for naming Theim’s

replacement.



Since relaunching its Web site last October - and essentially staking

the company’s future on it - Britannica has placed a major emphasis on

PR. With the advent of the Internet and CD-ROM encyclopedias such as

Microsoft’s Encarta, sales of the printed Britannica edition have fallen

80% over the past ten years. While the privately held company no longer

releases financial information, industry sources estimated that its

sales have fallen from a high of dollars 650 million in 1989 to about

dollars 300 million in 1998.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in