YONKERS, N.Y. (July 17, 2014) — Consumer Reports has chosen a consumer advocacy “visionary” to lead the magazine.
The publication named Marta Lourdes Tellado its seventh president and CEO, effective in September, succeeding James Guest, who has led Yonkers-based Consumer Reports (CR) since 2001. Ms. Tellado is currently vice president for global communications and an officer of the board at the Ford Foundation in New York. She began her career in the consumer movement, with 25 years of experience as a frontlines advocate and leader for social justice, according to CR.
“Marta is a transformational leader. She has a talent for innovation, a lifelong commitment to social justice and a distinguished portfolio of accomplishments in mission-driven organizations,” said Walter Bristol, chair of CR’s board of directors. “She is a strategic thinker with a deep understanding of how to build social movements in today’s digital age. We are both fortunate and absolutely thrilled to have her as our next president and CEO.”
Diane Archer, incoming chair of the board, added that Ms. Tellado “is the perfect choice to build and lead a consumer movement in this country.
“She shares our commitment to lifting people’s voices not only as consumers but as citizens, and she will create an environment of disruptive and dynamic growth for this great organization.”
CR said Mr. Guest guided the magazine’s evolution from a monthly consumer magazine to a multi-media testing, advocacy and consumer information resource with a variety of digital and print platforms.
“Over the past 13 years, Jim has built our consumer base to more than eight million individuals, raised annual revenues to more than $260 million, and increased our impact on product and food safety, financial security, health care and other consumer issues,” Mr. Bristol said. “Marta will continue to raise Consumer Reports’ profile in a changing media world and to work with our board and staff to engage new audiences and empower consumers.”
Born in Cuba and raised in New Jersey, Ms. Tellado began her career in public policy, advocacy and social justice working alongside Ralph Nader and Joan Claybrook at Public Citizen. Over her career, she has served as executive director of the Domestic Policy Group at the Aspen Institute; as director for national issues and outreach for former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J.; as vice president of the Partnership for Public Service, where she launched the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government and the Service to America awards.
“It is an exciting time to take the reins at such a highly regarded and trusted organization,” Ms. Tellado said. “Consumer Reports is valued by everyday consumers, the public interest community and by policy makers, and it’s primed for growth and ripe with opportunity amidst a quickly evolving media landscape.
“The organization is well positioned to articulate a compelling vision of a more just society in which consumers play a central role. I am proud and humbled to lead this charge at Consumer Reports.”
Ms. Tellado holds an M.A. and Ph.D in political science from Yale University.
As vice president at the Ford Foundation over the last nine years, she has led strategic communications and advocacy on a range of social justice issues in the U.S. and around the world, according to CR, including such issues as economic fairness, free and fair access to an open Internet, and civil rights.
Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has more than 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.