ADOTAS Conversations: Bob Carrigan, President, IDG Communications


Familiar to millions, media umbrella IDG is as synonymous with the tech world as Lindsay Lohan is with gossip columns. From the time the company was established in 1964 to its current globe-spanning incarnation, IDG has blossomed from a mere publishing arm for trades including PC World, MacWorld and CIO into a full-scale media operation that now espouses marketing, education, and event planning services.

Offline activity aside, it is perhaps IDG’s initiatives online that can stake claim for much of its current success. The company boasted 2005 revenues of $2.68 billion while employing 13,640 tech-savvy workers worldwide. IDG also currently reaches more than 120 million technology buyers in 85 countries representing 95% of worldwide IT spending.

Much of the online course and development has been charted by Bob Carrigan, who has returned to IDG after several years of spearheading interactive sales and ecommerce efforts for AOL. With Carrigan back in the fold, IDG has reared its gigantic head to the online/interactive arena, creating dual interactive marketing platforms that aim to please its online publisher network of more than 400 websites in 80 countries.

While President of IDG seems quite the laborious role, Carrigan has ably led his sales force in their transition from print to online, adding several new elements in the process that extend IDG beyond just a publishing house.

Recently, ADOTAS had a lengthy chat with Carrigan about a variety of topics, including the hurdles of transitioning from print to online, the specifications of IDG’s two main SEM and auction-based advertising platforms, sales strategies, and how the company capitalized on a built-in, technocentric audience.

Hi Bob. Let’s start with your background and what your day-to-day is like at IDG.

I’m President of IDG Communications in the US. I handle all of our publishing groups in the US. Prior to this, I was the CEO of Computer World, one of our divisions. Prior to that, I had spent four years at AOL in the interactive marketing group at Before that, I was with IDG for…this is my second stint at IDG.

You came full circle, I take it.

What actually happened was this. I was at IDG for eleven years and then IDG started a venture capital company that invested in Remember Spinner? Well that was one of our portfolio companies. I went to work for Spinner as the Senior Vice President of Sales and E-commerce, and then we were bought by AOL.

I remember Spinner, I figured it was either AOL or Netscape-owned.

Right. So then I went over to AOL as part of the acquisition, stayed there for four years, and then came back to IDG in April of 2003 as the CEO of Computerworld. Then I moved into this job about a year ago as president of IDG communications.


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