When Liz Schimel was named chief digital officer for Meredith 's magazines division in October 2010, the company was still hanging back from the general rush to the iPad. "We didn't have any brands on a tablet, or really a development team or process for doing that ," she recalled. Meredith also hadn't yet acquired Allrecipes.com, the country's largest food website, for a substantial $175 million. And the company's premium YouTube channel, Digs, was still 18 months away from joining the web's attempt to raid TV ad dollars.
All that is to say on the most important fronts in publishing, Ms. Schimel has been busy. "We're very focused on growing scale in digital, on transforming our consumer marketing activities to being digitally oriented, on developing strength for all of our brands for mobile and tablets, and on reinventing the way we leverage data," Ms. Schimel said. "I'm a pretty good multitasker and I also have a great team."
With that team in place, Ms. Schimel is eyeing the horizon for new platforms, capabilities and business models. "I've been able to move from "How are we going to actually get this done,'" she said, "to "How are we going to take advantage of all the opportunities in front of us?'"
What's something that often surprises people about you?
I speak fluent Chinese. I lived there after college and married a man I met there, so I have a very bicultural home life, with fluent-Mandarin-speaking Jewish boys.
If I wasn't doing this job, I'd be ...
I'd be selling skateboards in China -- my son is a skateboarder. I'd be starting an extreme-sports brand in China.