John Henry, new owner of the Boston Globe, assumes position of publisher
Mike Sheehan appointed the Globe’s Chief Operating Officer
Boston, Mass. – January 30, 2014 — John Henry Jr., owner of The Boston Globe, will assume the additional title of publisher and Mike Sheehan, the former Hill Holliday chief executive who has been consulting at the Globe, will become Chief Executive Officer, it was announced today. Sheehan will oversee all day-to-day business operations at the Globe while Henry concentrates on strategy.
In October 2013, Henry purchased The Boston Globe and its websites, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and its website, and Globe Direct, a direct mail operation. With the purchase, he became the third owner in the 141-year history of the Globe. Today, he becomes the ninth publisher.
“My main role as publisher is to ensure that the Globe has the right management and that management has the resources to accomplish its mission,” Henry said.
A native of Illinois, Henry has been one of the most successful investment managers in the futures industry. In 1981, he founded John W. Henry & Company, Inc., in Boca Raton, Florida. In an Op-Ed column entitled “Why I bought the Globe,” published last October after the sale was completed, he observed that his love of philosophy and his passion for baseball statistics provided a foundation for understanding investment markets objectively. “I made enough money in my commodity trading business to pursue my dream of owning a professional baseball team. I arrived in baseball in 1989, became a partner in the New York Yankees in 1991, and bought the Florida Marlins in 1999. In 2002, I was fortunate enough to join with Tom Werner, Larry Lucchino, and local partners to acquire the Boston Red Sox,” he wrote.
Sheehan, 53, joined the Globe earlier this month as a consultant to help improve advertising sales. As CEO, he will oversee the business side of The Boston Globe. Sheehan led the Boston ad agency for the past decade, handling clients like Bank of America Corp. and Dunkin’ Brands Group. He also is treasurer of the One Fund Boston, the foundation for victims of the Boston Marathon attacks. Sheehan became chief executive of Hill Holliday from 2003 to 2013, following legendary cofounder and chief executive Jack Connors. Sheehan, who kept to his vow to serve only 10 years as CEO, put his own stamp on the agency and steered it into the digital era, embracing Internet and social media advertising strategies in order to build brand identities, and successfully navigated the recession.
Sheehan grew up in Weymouth, Mass., and began his career in newspapers as sports editor of the Weymouth News. He also worked in The Boston Globe library during college at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., and was a reporter for The Patriot Ledger of Quincy.
His advertising career began at a small firm on the South Shore, and he went on to work at Clarke Goward in Boston and Leo Burnett in Chicago. He joined Hill Holliday in 1994, then moved to Chicago for a stint at DDB Chicago as executive creative director. He returned to his Boston roots – and to Hill Holliday as president – in 1999. His clients have ranged widely, from Lotus Development to Fidelity Investments to Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonalds.
“I am just a true believer in the value of quality journalism, properly sourced, well vetted, wonderfully written and edited,” Sheehan said. “And I’m not the only one. More people read the quality journalism of The Boston Globe today than ever before. Whether it is in print, online or on a phone, our journalism is everywhere. The opportunity for advertisers to reach a highly educated, civically engaged audience in the fifth wealthiest DMA in the country is limitless.”
After the attacks at the 2013 Boston Marathon, Sheehan took a lead role in developing The One Fund Boston to raise money in support of victims and to help promote a spirit of caring and resilience in the region.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to work for John Henry, whose track record at transforming Boston institutions is unblemished,” Sheehan said. “I would never bet against John Henry’s ability to turn Boston Globe Media into something spectacular in very short order.”