Malcolm S. Forbes left his sons Steve, Timothy, Christopher and Robert a company whose main business was Forbes. Today, the company has grown to include Forbes Global, an international edition; Forbes.com, an online business; Forbes Special Interest Publications, a custom publishing division; and Forbes Management Conference Group, a conference division.
"There's an old management idea that a company can only grow to the size that it has the management capabilities to deal with that growth," said Timothy C. Forbes, chief operating officer. "We are on the brink of outgrowing the capabilities we have. Rather than stop growing, we decided to try to add management."
Mr. Berrien will be the first since Malcolm ran the day-to-day operations to oversee so many aspects of the main magazine. He will be responsible for ad sales, marketing, promotion and circulation for Forbes and its supplements, Forbes ASAP and Forbes FYI. He also will oversee the conference group.
Last year, Jeff Cunningham left as Forbes VP-publisher to pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity. At that time, Rich Karlgaard, editor in chief of Forbes ASAP, was named publisher of Forbes but wasn't given the traditional duties of ad sales and circulation; that role was assumed by Tim Forbes.
Mr. Berrien, 47, comes to Forbes from American Express Co.'s Travelers Cheque Group, where since 1998 he has held the president's title. He joined AmEx in 1984 and held a succession of key management posts in the company's financial and publishing divisions. Before his current post, he was based in London, as president of the company's Establishment Services Group in Europe.
But he first joined AmEx in its publishing unit-after a nine-year career at the now-defunct CBS Magazines-as associate publisher of Food & Wine, and two years later was promoted to publisher. Eventually he moved up to senior VP-group publisher of its National Magazine Group.
NOT AN EASY DECISION
Returning to publishing was not the easiest decision.
"I was at a company where I was really spoiled, being able to work for a great brand for 15 years," said Mr. Berrien. "What attracted me to Forbes was the mystique it holds for its readers. It's also a great brand."
Although responsible for Forbes, the roles within the company run by four brothers tend to blur.
"In a company with a small management team, there tends to be less delineation and more of an attitude of 'lets all link arms and get it done,' " he said, adding that after years of strict corporate structure, that held appeal for him.
Technically, Mr. Berrien doesn't begin work until Aug. 3, but he did spend a day last week meeting with staffers.
"My plan right now is to make a plan," he said. "Luckily, I'm coming into a very