Executive Seat: Call Him Hands-On
When LFP/Hustler hired John Desjardins as vice president and general manager of the LFP Internet Group in late 2010, it wasn’t hard to understand why the position was so right for him.
Desjardins, who now oversees all of Hustler’s Internet operations except for its ecommerce (which is handled by LFP/Hustler’s retail division), is not only someone with a vast knowledge of the adult entertainment industry; he is also someone with a great deal of technological savvy. And on top of that, Desjardins brings strong managerial skills to the table.
“I am very hands-on, and I am involved in all aspects of the LFP Internet Group,” explained the Los Angeles-based Desjardins.
“I have focused my first few months on strengthening the foundation of the business so that moving forward, we can sustain the growth without running into too many issues. I oversee a good-sized staff of programmers, designers, content coordinators, marketing, finance and business development staff.”
In his pre-LFP days, Desjardins was well known in the adult industry for his work as director of Internet operations for Evil Angel (one of the top adult film studios in the San Fernando Valley).
But Desjardins’ contributions to the adult Internet didn’t start at Evil Angel, and he hasn’t always been based in Los Angeles. In fact, Desjardins was living in another major Southern California city when, in the late 1990s, he saw how important the Internet had become to the adult industry.
‘I started my career in San Diego when I saw others making money via the adult Internet and I saw an opportunity for myself to do the same,” Desjardins recalled. “In 1998, my wife — [who was my] girlfriend at the time — was modeling and had a website that I helped manage. Eventually, I took over as webmaster, running the operations and growing the business. Down the road, I used that business to run other model sites and affiliate programs.
“In 1999, I started another business with some friends. We were running an amateur girls website and shooting original content in San Diego. Soon after, we launched an affiliate program and started adding more niche sites. From then on, I was pretty much hooked on the web and got involved with several other Internet ventures.”
Desjardins moved to Los Angeles in 2004, which was also the year in which he was hired as director of online products for Danni’s Hard Drive (the well-known adult website that nude model, former exotic dancer and adult Internet pioneer Danni Ashe founded in 1995).
“Working at Danni’s, I learned a lot about managing a large staff as well as working in a corporate environment,” Desjardins explained. “Until that point, I had always worked for myself, which was a very different type of work experience.”
It was in 2006 that Desjardins arrived at Evil Angel. Desjardins had gained a lot of managerial experience at Danni’s Hard Drive, and at Evil Angel, he continued to build the managerial side of his resume.
“Working for Evil Angel was a huge job and a tremendous learning experience,” Desjardins noted. “The obstacles that I faced there in terms of getting them caught up with the rest of the industry gave me a lot of insight into how to do things the right way. I had to rebuild systems from the ground up and rework pretty much every aspect of the Internet division.
“Evil Angel also introduced me to the studio side of the business, where I learned about content production and organizing an enormous amount of content in the EA library. We had to develop a strong encoding and delivery system to prepare it all for the websites. During my tenure there, we did a lot of in-house development for the websites and affiliate program, including rebuilding the CMS/backend.”
Since his arrival at LFP/Hustler, Desjardins has been working closely with Michael H. Klein, president of LFP.
Desjardins recalled that he first met Klein at an Epoch sponsored event in late 2006; the two of them hit it off right away.
“I was at Evil Angel at the time and found that we had a lot of similar ideas on the industry,” Desjardins remembered. “After that, I would run into him at shows and different webmaster events, where we always had a good time discussing business.”
Technology has evolved throughout history, but in the digital age, technology is evolving more rapidly than ever — and at LFP/Hustler, one of Desjardins’ tasks has been overseeing and organizing a staff that he is confident will be on the cutting edge of technology.
‘We are doing a lot of foundation-building at the moment,” Desjardins said of LFP/Hustler’s Internet division. “We have been reorganizing and hiring new staff, rebuilding our CMS and all of our pay sites, dialing in our B2B and our partnerships and revenue streams. We’re also redoing our affiliate program and updating our marketing plans to prepare to help grow our revenue while we rework some of our other businesses.”
Desjardins added, “We hope to have completed the first phase of a major overhaul of Hustler.com. Our main goal over the next few months is to not only provide a better experience to our customers, but also, better tools and products for our affiliates. We are also working hard to bring together the entire company to really make Hustler.com a one-stop shop for everything Hustler.”