Christie Hefner: My Time at Playboy Empowered Me

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Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Former Playboy Enterprises CEO Christie Hefner discusses women in business with Stephanie Ruhle at Bloomberg's "The Year Ahead 2014" summit on Bloomberg Television at the Art Institute of Chicago. (Source: Bloomberg)

Synonymous with playboy been in the last two years you have become chair course -- chairperson of canyon ranch.

When i look at what canyon ranch has done -- it has changed the travel business the women.

Before that, then were taking golf trips, skiing trips, and women were not.

What is it saying about women being independent and discretionary income?

I think you are right.

When canyon ranch started in 1979 it was a trailblazer in many regards.

First of all, a destination healthy vacation.

But also a place where women could go.

And one of the most popular ways women go there are in groups or mother-daughter gatherings.

I took a group of corporate women part of women corporate director -- directors and we did a mix of canyon ranch, access to practitioners of unhealthy living and our own meetings about getting more women on board.

It is true that it is both about taking power over your own health, but also having discretionary income to say i need to do this for myself.

Do you think of the last 10 years there has been a shift, that more women have said i have the money and i am going to make the time and do this for myself?

In the 1970s in the 1970s and the 1980s we did not see it happening.

I do think so but there is still that pressure as women as the ultimate multitaskers feel the need to do it all and therefore the need to decompress.

I think we always feel a little guilty about taking time for ourselves, but yet from the perspective of being a mother or the doctor mom in the family and knowing it starts with taking care of yourself, or from the point of view of making sure that you are in touch with what are the newest trends and what is most revived -- reliable about health and wellness, women are the gatekeepers.

How about for you?

What -- you sat on type of -- top of heffner enterprises.

You cannot get high.

Your name was synonymous with the goal this global ran and you walked away.

I was told when i was leaving i had been the longest-serving female ceo of a new york stock exchange company because i did it for 20 years, and my immediate reaction was, that means i did it too long.

It is a high stress job.

I thought i had done a great job building the brand globally, taking us onto the web and into mobile.

I always wanted to do something also some point of my life.

It seems with the election of president obama, there was a sense of change in the air, kind of -- if not now, when?

Wasn't hard for you to make the branding transition?

A lot of people look up late for clearly as a company that involves women but many would say it exploits women and not you are in the business of absolutely empowering women.

I would looking at playboy the wrong way?

Over 40% of my executives when i left were women.

Whether it was women who wrote for the magazine or the fact that 80% of our license the billion dollar business when i left was made up of apparel and accessories sold to women.

I think it was more of a lifestyle brand than its origins as a men's magazine.

But there are certain similarities utley between the two.

They really were trail blazers in their own way.

They were and are lifestyle brands that kind of creative categories.

Strong founders actively involved.

Real mission driven organizations with an enormous sense of pride and a kind of family culture.

So, i had been on the board of canyon ranch for many years and knew the people but i think my time at playboy actually helped me because what i am doing for canyon ranch is extending the brand and content across media that forms and doing business partnerships -- like canyon ranch meal delivered at him.

Howard you expanding a question of meals at home -- people think of canyon ranch as a destination but a something in their home or to take with them.

How are you changing the brand?

What you're absolutely right.

-- you are absolutely right.

It was not something you'd take home.

What we are doing is putting partnerships together and building up a website, and personal coaching online that takes the approach -- whether the healthy way or stress -- and making it accessible to people in homes.

Taking things like our food program and making it accessible at home.

So people who aspired to canyon ranch and have not had the chance to go can benefit from the extraordinary knowledge of the doctors and nurses and nutritionists.

To build out sometimes you have to shut down.

What was the experience for you -- when you were at playboy and you said it is time to shut down the playboy club, how do you continue to build a brand and make it big or while saying i need to cut losses in certain areas?

I believe generally in business that the things you choose not to do -- whether closing something or not going down a certain cap -- are probably more important than the things you choose to do.

It is just less visible to the media and the consuming public.

So, we were pretty rigorous about what we will -- one at the brand to represent.

The intersection of the brand and business opportunities.

A lot of the 1980s was made of getting out of the book club business, the limousine business, the club business, the modeling agency, in order to focus on multimedia and licensing.

As you are continuing for canyon ranch the businesses you want to be in, one of the approaches of having canyon ranch at home -- some people in this economy simply cannot afford to have the canyon ranch experience, so i am going to change my brand to attract more people at a different price point?

I would not say it is about changing the brand, but it is going from a luxury brand to premium brand -- to monetizing the brand.

It is an expensive vacation as a result of the high number of experts eager to have access to when you are there, but yet the ideas and the power of canyon ranch to give you the tools and inspiration to help you live a healthy life.

It can and there will be more accessible.

Empowering women -- mind, body, and spirit.

In a few moments, christine he fner and i will be sitting down with madeleine albright and a few other extraordinary women to talk about the importance of

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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