Ellie Hirschhorn — former Chief Digital Officer, Simon & Schuster

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Ellie Hirschhorn is an experienced media and technology leader possessing a combination of technical, business and creative skills and a track record of transforming, growing and scaling content businesses. She has built and led successful digital initiatives, driving change at both large companies (8 years at Viacom, 8 years at CBS) and executing entrepreneurial plans and a successful exit at a startup (3 years at MediaNet, a leading digital music venture). Ms. Hirschhorn has demonstrated leadership skills and strengths in operations / general management, revenue and audience development, engineering, product development, marketing, strategic planning/M&A, and business development. She’s led teams of up to 135 people and managed P&L’s up to $50mm.

Ellie served as Simon & Schuster’s Executive Vice President and first Chief Digital Officer from 2008-2014, reporting to S&S’s CEO and managing engineering, product, digital marketing, business development and content & programming teams. She pioneered new strategies and initiatives that grew S&S’s digital audience over 700% to 1.3mm unique monthly visitors; expanded its database of email subscribers from 75k to over 2mm names; launched 9 consumer niche content sites in key 
publishing categories including romance, teen, lifestyle, and business; built an in-house short-form video production and syndication arm; enhanced and expanded S&S’s ecommerce platforms, supporting growth in ecommerce revenues from $300k to $5.5mm; developed the original concept, business plan and product roadmap and served on the board of directors of Bookish – a publisher- backed book discovery and marketing site with a proprietary recommendation engine that was sold to Zola Books; originated and oversaw a $4mm self-publishing partnership with Author Solutions Inc. – Archway Publishing, the first self-publishing imprint launched by a major trade publisher; originated new digital products derived from select S&S titles, including Stephen King’s Webby award-nominated mobisode series, “N.” which also was the second most popular animated series on iTunes, and “Nixonland,” one of the first, critically acclaimed enhanced ebooks featured on Apple; conceived and developed S&S’s content syndication strategy, building a marketing partnership program that includes Yahoo!, SheKnows, AOL, Roku, Huffington Post, Bio.com and dozens of other new digital distribution agreements.

Before coming to Simon & Schuster, Ms. Hirschhorn was at CBS College Sports (f.k.a. College Sports TV) where she was Executive Vice President, Digital Media in charge of the companies digital division that included a network of over 200 collegiate digital sports properties.  Ms. Hirschhorn has served as Chief Operating Officer of MediaNet, a leading business-to-business digital subscription music provider, and held various high-level positions at Viacom, MTV Networks, and Showtime Networks, including as General Manager of MTV.com.

Prior to joining the media world, Ms. Hirschhorn worked in investment banking and private equity at Credit Suisse First Boston, Citibank, and Weiss, Peck & Greer.

Ms. Hirschhorn holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School and was a Henry R. Luce Scholar. She serves on the Board of Directors of Fiduciary Trust Company International, the Board of Governors of Yale University Press, and the Advisory Board of The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center.

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