Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG Communications Worldwide

My NativeAdVice:


Michael Friedenberg is CEO of IDG Communications Worldwide, the subsidiary for IDG's B2B and consumer media brands and events in 97 countries. He was promoted from CEO, IDG Communications U.S. to worldwide CEO in 2013.

Prior to Friedenberg’s latest promotion, he was CEO and President of IDG Enterprise, an IDG company that develops strategic media properties and peer advisory services for IT executives. Appointed in March 2009, Friedenberg oversaw IDG’s award-winning brands, websites, products and services for CIO, CIO Executive Council, CFOworld, CITEworld, Computerworld, CSO, DEMO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World.

What's Your NativeAdVice:

How did you get into the Media industry?

Was bartending and working odd jobs after graduating from the University of Delaware. Fortunate enough to get my start in tech media in 1991 at Professional Press. Began as an Account Executive supporting Mid-Atlantic sales and never looked back! 

Tell us about IDG. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

IDG was created by Pat McGovern in 1964 and grew to become a global technology media and research organization. Since its founding, IDG’s mission has been to provide information on information technology to a global audience.  Today, this is accomplished through multiple products and services from editorially driven sites to data-driven media, events, research and beyond, engaging 280 million technology buyers in 97 countries.

IDG’s vision is to harness the transformative power of technology to fuel our customers’ global growth.

What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to IDG's success?

IDG has historically been a heavily decentralized organization.  Given that the Internet has no borders, IDG is aggressively creating a structure of interdependence where a level of centralization and decentralization can co-exist. By building certain centralized platforms, IDG is accelerating our global scale and consistency of capabilities at the local level which, in turn, is growing profitable revenues.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

Specific to business technology, I think we are living our very own Industrial Revolution. The mobile, social, data-driven Web is causing every business, job function, and individual to rapidly transform.  

In the media world,  digital display is becoming the new print. With  viewability, fraud, ad blockers and the efficiency found in programmatic, media companies will once again need to shift their reliance from display to other audience based revenue streams like native, video, content, mobile, social, and demand generation in order to grow profitable revenues. In addition, we see that marketers are increasingly drawn to scale and global reach as they look across borders for new customers and revenue.

Life Motto?

It’s all good.

IDG's Motto?

Let’s Try It!

Your greatest success as CEO of IDG? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?

My greatest success is still yet to be defined and, quite honestly, I would rather have the employees and customers of IDG answer that question.

Most difficult moment was being new in the worldwide CEO role for 4 months and having our Chairman and Founder, Pat McGovern pass away. I learned that Pat is irreplaceable and in order for IDG to continue, we need to modernize by innovating constantly, executing flawlessly, and delivering consistent results.

Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

Talent over Strategy 100% of the time.

Describe the ideal experience using an IDG business.

The ideal customer (reader or advertiser) experience with IDG is to exceed expectations and to always prove our relevance.  

How do you motivate your employees?

Constant communication and transparency, thus creating a trust-based culture.

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

Chicken Parmesan with some linguini and a nice glass of Cabernet

What literature is on your bed stand?

The Hard Thing About Hard Things written by Ben Horowitz. Have read it 3 times already.

 Role model - personal?

Personal: My parents, Marshall and Elaine. They taught me that one’s value isn’t defined by wealth but by your integrity.

Current passion?

My family and IDG

Favorite travel destination?

Anywhere in the Caribbean

What's next for IDG?

IDG will continue to help our audiences and our customers navigate the ever-changing world of technology as a global tech media, data, and services company. The best is yet to come!