New title: CEO and president, Beckett Media
Previous job: Founder and president of Design Guide Publishing Ltd.
First job: Canoe guide in the Adirondacks
Education: Bachelor of arts, history (1985), Brown University; MBA (1990), Harvard University
Grew up: Born in Denmark, moved to Pakistan, grew up mainly in Bronxville, N.Y.
Executive most admired: Donnie Walsh, CEO and president, Indiana Pacers
Brand most admired: Land Rover
Favorite vacation spot: Iceland
Last book read: “To the Last Man: A Novel of the First World War” by Jeffrey Shaara
Last movie seen: “Madagascar”
Favorite movie: “Breaker Morant”
Favorite musician: AC/DC
The sports industry is still new to Peter Gudmundsson, but it’s an industry he feels strongly about and one he thinks should return to being fun for everyone.
As CEO of sports and specialty collectibles publisher Beckett Media and its 14 sports magazines, including its famous Beckett Baseball Price Guide, he is looking to give the company a broader focus — from being strictly analytical and heavy on numbers to telling the story behind the numbers.
What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
Maintaining our strong brand name and market presence while changing interculturally and growing in the business.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
Taking over as CEO of jobs.com in May of 2000, right after the bust of the Internet boom. It turned out to be a complete bust, but I thought we would have had more time to turn the company around than we really did.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
Becoming president of Primedia Workplace Learning. Under my direction, we were able to be successful and lead the company through very difficult times in the late 1990s.
What is one story you are continuing to watch in sports today?
How video games impact fan behavior. Many people learn to start collecting things at an early age but often become diverted later on by video games. We need to get the message out that collecting is fun, and we can do this by telling a story to go along with the numbers. This will help better serve all different types of collectors.
What is one element that you would like to change about the sports industry?
Bring back the fun! We need to be less cynical about sports and start telling our young people about the heroes of the games and just make it more fun for everyone.
This Career spotlight is courtesy of the Sports Business Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.