At CNET, Mr. Haire will be responsible for broadening the company's strategic relationships, maximizing its ad sales efforts and helping the company structure itself for growth into new editorial categories.
CNET Networks launched in 1995 as a technology- and computing-news vertical but has steadily diversified over the past couple of years. The company has acquired non-tech assets such as Chowmag.com (now Chow.com), UrbanBaby.com and TV.com. In 2004 it bought photo-sharing site Webshots. CNET has also dabbled in TV and radio and has a stable of popular podcasts. Neil Ashe was named CEO last October, succeeding co-founder Shelby Bonnie, who resigned following a stock-option investigation.
"They've been a juggernaut in consumer electronics, technology and business services, but they're just gearing up to bring some of the power they have to places like financial, automotive, pharmaceutical," Mr. Haire said yesterday. "It's one of these companies that's a little bit like, in a way, Time Inc. in the early days."
Mr. Haire, 55, who left Time Inc. after that reorganization kicked him upstairs and out of his post as exec VP-corporate sales and marketing, is the third magazine heavyweight to return to the executive suite lately. Mary Berner, the former president-CEO of Fairchild Publications, was named president-CEO of the Reader's Digest Association on March 2, and Kent Brownridge, the veteran Wenner Media executive, will become CEO at Dennis Publications later this summer. And one of Mr. Haire's colleagues, Eileen Naughton, former president of Time magazine, moved over to Google to run its New York sales operations.
"Jack is a highly respected media executive with proven success in building revenue strategies and marketing programs across multiple brands and media types," Mr. Ashe said in a statement. "As the media landscape continues to evolve, he brings a unique perspective to our organization. His background is a perfect fit for CNET Networks' long-term strategy as we continue to build brands for people and the things they are passionate about."