Michael A. Clinton, MBA '83
Michael A. Clinton is the senior vice president, chief marketing officer and group publishing director for Hearst Magazines. He is responsible for the corporate marketing and sales of 14 core magazines and three joint venture titles, Marie Claire, SmartMoney, and O Magazine, as well as research and brand development. Mr. Clinton also holds group publishing responsibility for the Home/Lifestyle Group, which includes House Beautiful, Country Living, Gardener, Colonial Homes and Rebecca's Garden. He also holds publishing oversight for Esquire and SmartMoney.
Before joining Hearst in 1997, he served the magazine publishing industry as a sales and marketing executive for both Conde Nast and Fairchild Publications. Most recently, he served as Conde Nast's executive vice president, where he oversaw sales and marketing, budgets, and policies for the company's 15 national titles. As a member of the company's top executive team, Mr. Clinton was instrumental in planning long-term strategy and setting sales and P&L goals. Prior to that, as Conde Nast's Senior Vice President of Group Sales & Marketing, he revamped the company's multi-title sales operation, which accounted for 50 percent of the company's total revenue. As publisher of Conde Nast's Gentlemen's Quarterly, from 1988 to 1994, he delivered the three most profitable years in the magazine's history and led all brand image activities. Under his leadership, GQ was launched in the United Kingdom and Japan.
Before joining GQ in 1985 as advertising manager, Mr. Clinton had made a name for himself as an up-and-coming sales and marketing professional at Fairchild Publications. While there, he was involved first as an editor for the Daily News Record, a business publication for the men's apparel industry, and as an associate publisher for the biweekly publication, Sportstyle.
Mr. Clinton graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in economics and political science from the University of Pittsburgh, and earned his M.B.A from Pace University's Lubin Graduate School of Business. He is an active member of the Board of Directors of both the Volunteers of America and The Starlight Foundation.
Some think that in the era of rapid technological change, the magazine industry might soon go the way of the dinosaur. Not so says Michael Clinton, M.B.A.'83, and senior vice president, chief marketing officer, and group publishing director of Hearst Magazines. "We've embraced technology instead of fighting it. If we fought technology, we'd be out of business."
Michael Clinton, MBA'83, of Hearst Magazines, engages in conversation with Lubin students during a reception in his honor.
Clinton, one of the corporate leaders participating in this semester's Executive in Residence program, discussed the Internet and the future of the magazine industry during his visit to the downtown New York City campus of the Lubin School on October 19. "It is logical to think that magazines, as well as newspapers, cable, and radio would be threatened by the arrival of the Internet," said Clinton during a luncheon attended by Lubin faculty, students, and administrators." Yet, all these mediums are thriving. Magazines will generate over $20 billion this year. We've morphed, changed, and adapted."
According to Clinton, Hearst, whose family of publications range from Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Country Living and Marie Claire, to Colonial Homes, has found innovative ways to attract readers in the Internet Age. "At first, it was thought that you could just duplicate the editorial content of magazines on the Web," commented Clinton, who is responsible for Hearst Magazines' corporate marketing division. "We quickly discovered that that was a bad idea. Why would readers want to buy the magazine when they could read it online for free ?"
Instead, Clinton explained, Hearst began to develop Internet sites that would complement, rather than replace the company's established titles. Hearst's Home Arts Network, for instance, blends original online editorial content with links to individual magazine Web pages and E-commerce sites. Clinton said that the Internet allows readers to "experience our magazines on different multimedia levels. The multimedia experience creates holistic brands that draw the reader in."
Marketing Becomes Crucial
Clinton cited Cosmo Girl, a new magazine aimed at 11- to 15-year-olds, as an example of Hearst's multimedia approach . "The young editor insisted on launching the Web site and the magazine simultaneously," said Clinton. The marketing team at Hearst soon discovered that teens who read Cosmo Girl are quick to use both mediums to their advantage. "The girls will read articles in the magazines and then e-mail their friends or talk to them in chat rooms about the articles. They like migrating back and forth between the Web and the actual magazine."
Several undergraduate marketing classes were treated to Clinton 's thoughts on the principles of marketing during the afternoon. Shortly after that, he met with student leaders from Pace's Marketing Association and the Advertising Club, among others.
Speaking to a combined group of B.B.A. and M.B.A. students in Advanced Marketing Management and International Marketing during the early evening, Clinton stressed the growing importance of marketing to the publishing industry. A healthy economy traditionally products a bumper crop of magazine titles, a good many fighting for the same advertising dollars. In such a crowded field, said Clinton, it is "critical as a company that we segment and position ourselves in terms of what we stand for."
To do that, Clinton described how Hearst had beefed up its marketing department and developed the "We Read America" campaign, a series of print ads and video presentations aimed at advertisers. In the series, editors of Hearst's publications ponder the meaning of uniquely American items like the pumpkin and blue jeans. "We Read America" has, according to Clinton, led not only to an increase in brand name recognition but also to a growth in ad revenue.
"Marketing as we learn it in school has not worked in the magazine world. But that's changing," Clinton told the students. He went on to explain that he envisions increased opport unities for marketers in the industry. "Promotion, market research, and merchandising are all critical. We're viewing marketers as the future of our business."
Robert C. Oelkers, BS '66
Robert C. Oelkers is vice president of Texaco Inc. and president of Texaco International Trader, Inc. In this capacity he oversees Texaco's worldwide trading and marine transportation activities, as well as corporate commodity risk management.
Mr. Oelkers joined Texaco in 1966, and over the next decade held several auditing positions in New York and Houston. In 1977 he was named manager of Internal Auditing, and in 1979 he was appointed director of Internal Auditing for the corporation. He was selected as assistant comptroller in 1980, with responsibilities for financial accounting and reporting for all of the company's U.S. business units.
Between 1988 and 1993, Mr. Oelkers changed his focus to marketing and product management. As vice president of Texaco Refining and Marketing Inc., Mr. Oelkers was responsible for refining and products marketing operations in the mid-continent and later, Texaco's west coast operations. In 1993 he was appointed senior vice president of Texaco Refining and Marketing Inc.
After being elected comptroller of Texaco Inc. in 1994, Mr. Oelkers returned to fiscal management. In December of 1996 he was appointed to his present position of vice president, and has recently been named president of Texaco's international crude and products trading business unit, Texaco International Trader, Inc.
Mr. Oelkers is a member of the Management Committee of Star Enterprises, a joint venture company between Texaco and Saudi Refining Inc., which runs refining and marketing activities under the Texaco brand in 26 eastern and southern states. He also sits on the Board of Directors of Equilon Enterprises, the recent joint venture with Shell.
A New York native, Mr. Oelkers graduated with a B.S. in business administration from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University. An active member of several professional and civic organizations, Mr. Oelkers serves on the Financial Accounting Standards Board's Advisory Committee, the Pace University Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors of the United Way of Stamford, and the Finance Committee for the United Way of Tri-State.
"You have to know how to get along with people. At the end of the day, it's people who make the business. We would expect a graduate of a university to understand the technical side of the business. But more and more it's not the technical side of the business that creates opportunity. It's how individuals get along in teams," said Robert C. Oelkers, BS' 66 , vice president of Texaco Inc. and president of Texaco's International Trader Inc., when asked by Lubin students what quality today's business executives most seek in prospective employees. Oelkers met with students and faculty on the Pleasantville and White Plains campuses on September 29 as the first Executive in Residence for the 1999-2000 academic year.
Robert C. Oelkers, BS '66 enjoys an exchange with a Lubin student after his lecture.
Oelkers shared his insights on the professional world, marketing, and the impact of oil on the global economy with Lubin students and faculty during his visit. He spoke at a luncheon and lectured to several B.B.A. classes in Pleasantville and to M.B.A. students on the White Plains campus.
"Energy demand will continue to skyrocket during the coming years," said Oelkers during one informal afternoon lecture, "because people don't run out of resources they critically need." He said that Texaco, which had $31.7 billion in earnings last year, anticipates that emerging markets in places like China and Russia will ensure the company a thriving business "well into the next century."
Pointing out that the oil is a uniquely "geopolitical commodity," since much of the world's crude oil resources are nationalized, Oelkers said that companies like Texaco must form partnerships with national, and sometimes regional, governments to obtain lucrative drilling contracts. He noted that new supply patterns had intensified globalization in the industry. "Every country now wants its own refinery," added Oelkers, "which will change the flow of the commodity. Each new refinery impacts the price of oil all over the world." He added that, in the future, Texaco would continue to form strategic alliances, such as the joint venture the company runs with Shell Oil, to increase efficiency and drive down costs. Oelkers himself is on the management committee of Star Enterprises, a partnership between Texaco and Saudi Refining Inc., which markets under the Texaco banner in 26 states.
A Wealth of Marketing and Financial Experience
Soon after receiving his degree in Business Administration from Pace in 1966, Oelkers joined Texaco's auditing department. In 1977, he was named manager of internal auditing and two years later became head of the unit. He later moved over to Texaco's marketing and product management unit and in 1993 was promoted to senior vice president of Texaco's refining and marketing operation. In his current position as president of Texaco International Trader Inc., Oelkers oversees worldwide trading of the company's crude oil reserves.
As with many dynamic and busy business people, Oelkers somehow finds the time to be active in a number of civic, professional, and charitable organizations. He is on the Financial Accounting Standards Board's Advisory Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Stamford, Connecticut. He has been a member of Pace University's Board of Trustees since 1997 and was honored last spring by Lubin's Iota Lambda chapter of Beta Alpha Psi as a distinguished alumnus.