Walter Kiechel is author of The Lords of Strategy. The book reflects much of what he has learned in three decades of reporting and writing on business, including over 100 interviews—a few stretching over days—for this work alone. In recent years he combined research on The Lords with occasional part-time jaunts as an editor at large for Harvard Business Publishing, helping the company in its perpetual quest for new ideas, authors, and business opportunities.
Until January, 2003, Kiechel served as editorial director of HBP and senior vice president in charge of its publishing division, with responsibility for the Harvard Business Review; HBS Press, the company’s book-publishing arm; the newsletter unit (which he helped start in 1996) as well as HBP’s video, reprints, and conference businesses. From early 1997 until his appointment as editorial director in March, 1998, he was publisher of HBR.
Kiechel spent most of his early career at Fortune magazine, where generally he had a wonderful time. After beginning at the magazine as a reporter in 1977, he rose to become its managing editor, the top editorial position, in 1994. As assistant managing editor (1988), executive editor (1992), and finally M.E., he crafted a strategy for the magazine as a journal of “ideas, strategies, and solutions for decision makers.” Through most of the 1980s, Kiechel was editor in charge of Fortune’s coverage of management. Now and then he’d take a break to write cover stories including “Corporate Strategy for the 1990s” (1988), “The Workaholic Generation” (1989), and “How We Will Work In the Year 2000” (1993). For 12 years he also wrote a regular column, “Office Hours,” on managerial technique, psychology, and sociology. In 1988, a collection of these pieces was published by Little Brown as a book titled Office Hours: A Guide to the Managerial Life. He has done daily broadcasts on “The New Economy” for the CBS Radio Network and hosted the not-much-lamented Fortune Week television program on CNBC.
Kiechel received JD and MBA degrees from Harvard, and is a member of the New York bar. He got his undergraduate education at Harvard as well, where he was awarded an AB degree with honors and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. From 1968 to 1973, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, spending most of the time on sea duty aboard destroyers, an adventure he still relishes.
Kiechel lives in Hoboken, New Jersey, a long way from his birthplace in Nebraska. A widower, he has two children.