The Quiet Mogul

Portfolio.com & Wall Street Journal Venture Capital, 10/18/10

What does it take to succeed in China or win as a venture capitalist or figure out a successful media strategy? For IDG’s Pat McGovern, the answer to all three rests in trusting the people you hire.

Talking with Pat McGovern, you wouldn’t automatically label him as a “media mogul.” He doesn’t exhibit the ego or display the bombast you think of with empire builders like Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller, or Ted Turner. He comes across more as a jovial and caring grandfather, than he does as someone who needs to leave his mark globally.

But as founder and chairman of IDG—International Data Group—a mogul is exactly what McGovern is. He presides over a diverse media company that last year had more than $3 billion in revenue, employed 13,000 people, and operated 200 magazines and 460 websites worldwide. Among the company’s best-known titles are PC World, Macworld, and Computerworld. But it also owns the foreign publishing rights in China to such broad consumer titles as Cosmopolitan, National Geographic, and Esquire.

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