Christie Hefner announced today her plans to step down as chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises.
Hefner will stay on as CEO through January 31, 2009, the company said in a statement. Jerome Kern, a member of its board of directors, will serve as interim chairperson while the company searches for a replacement.
“Playboy Enterprises Inc. has literally and figuratively been my life and career for more than 30 years,” Hefner said in a statement. “Last month marked my 20th anniversary as CEO; 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.”
Hefner steps down from the top executive post during a challenging time for Playboy. The company—which eliminated 80 staffers company-wide in October in a cost-cutting effort—reported a net loss of $10.4 million through the first nine months, compared to a $6 million net income during the same period last year. For the third quarter, the company reported a $5.2 million net loss, down from a gain of $2.6 million during the same period last year.
Year-to-date, revenue was down more than 12 percent to $222.3 million. Playboy attributed the overall losses, in part, to a $6.3 million restructuring charge. Excluding the charges, the company reported a net income of $1.1 million.
The company said it expects ad revenue in the publishing division to be down 17 percent in the fourth quarter.