Women to Watch 2007

Marta Wohrle

Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.

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There isn't much that's more important to magazine publishers in 2007 than getting their digital plays right. So Marta Wöhrle's mission to direct the digital development of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., publisher of magazines like Elle and magazines-turned-online-only brands like Premiere, locates her pretty much at the center of the industry's universe.

Marta Wohrle, senior VP-director of digital media, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.
Photo: Doug Goodman

As senior VP-director of digital media, Ms. Wöhrle defines her short-term mission as creating, stabilizing and growing profitable digital businesses. But she's more ambitious than that.

"The next phase is to really push those with further investments so we are better than our competition," she says. "The third thing we really need is to find new ways to engage with the consumer."

Ms. Wöhrle, 47, didn't start out with digital on the brain. Born in London and raised in Manchester, she began work as a business reporter at the Sunday Times in London, but increasingly found herself specializing in media coverage and started a consultancy called Informed Sources in Europe and North America.

"She was always ready to tell me what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong," says Matthew Kearney, president-CEO of Screenvision. "She hasn't changed much since, and I hope she never does."

Ms. Wöhrle joined Hachette as VP-director of digital media in January 2006 and was promoted a year later. She's still taking apart the old ways to find the new.

"What we're going to see, quite frankly, is what we call traditional media becoming smaller, more compact," she says. "I really do think everything else we're going to see will be portable, shareable, interactive, personalized -- and consumers will just take control. These things are all buzzwords, but it's happening."
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