Advance Publications' hiring of Andrew Siegel in 2010 turned heads in the media world. The parent company of Conde Nast gave Mr. Siegel, who was Yahoo's VP-corporate development, a war chest of $500 million to invest in companies and technology.
Since then, Mr. Siegel, 48, has helped Advance grow and find additions for its portfolio, taking point on investments in several startups, including epicurean app ZipList and fashion site Moda Operandi.
Connecting company executives with entrepreneurs and tech founders has been among the most rewarding aspects of the job, he said. And there's more to come. Mr. Siegel, who works with Advance's boards, said he still has a good chunk of the $500 million to spend.
If he has it his way, most of that will be done away from any media glare. "I like the fact that the media coverage about me has died down," he said. "It's not the kind of business you should do in public."
If you were stranded on a desert island, which magazines would you want most?
Condé Nast titles, of course. And as a second choice, anything on stock heavy enough to build a boat out of.
What device would you least like to drop into the tracks in front of an oncoming train?
Anything that I would have to reimburse the corporate IT department for losing.
If you could only watch one cable or broadcast network for the rest of your life, what would it be?
FX. I'm addicted to its biker-gang soap opera Days of Our Rides ("Sons of Anarchy").
Which obsolete device do you wish you could have back?
An IBM Selectric typewriter. But thankfully QWERTY will live forever.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
Chocolate-chip-cookie taste-tester at Levain Bakery.