I'm checking the calendar because it surely must be April 1st. Multiple sources, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Associated Press, and the acrid OC Weekly are all confirming that Scott Flanders, former CEO of Macmillan USA, will be taking over as CEO of Playboy Enterprises as of July 1.
Flanders, a lawyer and accountant, skyrocketed to prominence here in Indianapolis in the late '80s and early '90s as president of Que Corporation, which through a series of mergers and acquisitions he parlayed into a 1,500-employee operation that encompassed a dozen imprints under Macmillan Computer Publishing and Macmillan General Reference. It all came crashing down in late 1998 when Pearson bought Simon & Schuster and found itself in possession of Macmillan. Amid rumors of book-cooking, Dame Marjorie showed him the door. We feted him with a washtub full of beers in the lobby of the "castle in the cornfield" offices. I told him he was going to do great things and that I would be watching him.
He's spent the last decade moving among bigger media circles such as Sony and Freedom Communications, and all the while the shadow of new media has continued to overtake his efforts. So now, today, he's landed at the Playboy mansion. Sounds like the folks in the OC are glad to see him go. I continue to watch and wait for those great things.
Thanks for the heads up to my friend Linda, always the best source of inside info!