Christie Hefner Ends Tenure at Playboy

CHICAGO — Playboy’s Christie Hefner quietly ended her tenure as CEO Saturday after more than 23 years at the company.

With the change, the adult entertainment publishing company instantly has new leadership.

Jerome Kern, who joined Playboy’s board of directors in 2002, will serve as chairman — a spot that Hefner served up until December — and receive compensation of $50,000 per month, according to a regulatory filing.

With Hefner’s resignation, Kern also becomes acting CEO; Playboy hired a search firm last week to find a replacement.

The Chicago-based company, in the midst of reinventing itself, also has a new editorial director, who takes the reins of the flagship magazine and website. (Hugh Hefner continues as editor-in-chief.)

Jellinek plans to unveil a sweeping revamp to the website in the coming weeks, one that has been described by Jellinek as "controlled chaos” that captures “lightning in a bottle."

Meanwhile, Playboy, which didn’t host a Super Bowl party this year, is gearing up for an NBA All-Star soiree, where it will present its March issue, hosted by 2007 Playmate of the Year Sara Underwood, Miss March 2009 Jennifer Pershing and four of their Playmate friends.

The All-Star Official Playboy Magazine March Issue Release Party will take place at the 30,000-square-foot Barcelona Nightclub in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Friday, Feb. 13, from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m The NBA All-Star game follows on Sunday, Feb. 15.