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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 2, 2000. All rights
Women in Business: Clare Hart
Just a few short months after Dow Jones & Company
ripped away a piece of its interactive business to pair it with a
comparable part of Reuters’ business, the name of the operation
changed and the CEO resigned. The two business information databases
— Dow Jones Interactive and Reuters Business Briefings — paired to
become a joint venture last May. In November it changed the name to
Factiva, and in December it was looking for new leadership. A
39-year-old Dow Jones
veteran, Clare Hart, got the job on January 5.
With revenues exceeding $225 million, Hart’s operation has 750
employees in 30 countries, and it is charged with helping nearly 1
million subscribers make the best business decisions. "This millennium
year will be one we deliver the content, tools, and services that
advance our customers’ content integration efforts and
knowledge-sharing process to new levels," says Hart.
Hart had been vice president and director of global sales for Factiva,
and at the time of her promotion she was managing a third of Factiva’s
workforce. Still, this was a sudden ascent, one which would have been
accompanied by considerable stress. Actually, says the new CEO, though
it may sound self promoting, she turned to her own databases to get
information on how to do a quick, smooth changeover. "I can’t imagine
how a company goes through a situation like we went through and
doesn’t use a service to learn how another company dealt with the
problem." After perusing Factiva’s files on recent CEO changeovers,
she decided that a good communication plan was the key to melding two
"If anybody can work between these two camps, Clare can," says an
The Dow Jones portion of Factiva used to be known as Dow Jones
Interactive, but Dorothea Coccoli Palsho, CEO of Dow Jones Interactive
Publishing, retains all her other electronically delivered business
news entities including the preeminent Wall Street Journal Interactive
Edition — plus Dow Jones News Services, Dow Jones Publications and
Library Service, and Broadcast Services. Timothy Andrews, the first
CEO of the new firm, then known as Dow Jones Reuters Business
Interactive LLC, left to join an Internet startup launched by a
In addition to the national strength that Dow Jones has, Factiva
enjoys the international strength for which Reuters is known. Now
Factiva has begun to mix together both sets of proprietary content, so
everyone in the client base can get access to it. The content now
includes archival rights to the Wall Street Journal, content from more
than 7,000 international business publications, and information
sources in 20 languages. Some time this year Hart is supposed to be
coming out with a truly integrated service, available on the Web, that
combines information from both companies, plus lots more.
The market? Some say that Factiva is playing to a vanishing audience
— the professional searcher. But others quote figures that the
general business public’s appetite for good business information will
be $6 billion in two years, and Factiva aims to claim a lion’s share.
Hart says that the analytical side of programming — she did a double
major in computer science and finance at Drexel — prepared her for
just about any job. "When I made the decision, I remember thinking
that computers are going to be our way of life, and I did not want to
be sitting in a meeting someday and have the whole computer language
be completely foreign. You really understand the foundations of
business, and that helps you understand other aspects, like product
development and sales."
"Clare has real skill at several levels — technical, sales, and line
experience," says Mark Feffer, president of Tramp Steamer Media and a
former colleague of Hart’s at Dow Jones. "She knows what people will
want and has a real knowledge of how the technology works behind the
scenes. Factiva is in really good hands with her."
Hart grew up in Morristown, where her father was a biochemist for
Warner Lambert and her mother raised her family and then worked for
the town of Morristown. Hart worked in a bakery in high school
where she learned that, in retail, your attitude can "either make it
or break it." She says the bakery owner was committed, and
that she really believed in him. "I have been very fortunate always to
have good bosses."
At Drexel she met her future husband,
Greg Baer, and decided not to take his name because, as she notes, she
simply could not be "Clare Baer." Also at Drexel, an engineering
school where the ratio of men to women is four to one, she learned
that "you are who you are. Thankfully, Dow Jones is very much like
that — you can be male, female, black, white, or green — as long as
you contribute and do your job. In an environment like Drexel, there
is no discrimination. It completely shed any kind of views that as a
woman I had to fight harder."
Though she may think like a programmer, Hart soon moved into sales,
and she has earned an MBA from Rider. While in college she worked in
cooperative programs at Marine Midland Bank and at a bank in northern
New Jersey. Then she spent 16 months at News Edge. She joined Dow
Jones in 1983 as a programmer analyst in the applications development.
As program manager of the Advanced Systems Group she helped create,
develop, and launch Dow Vision, a news-to-the-desktop product in 1990.
The following year she left Dow Jones for Desktop Data and established
a regional base for that company in the Rust Belt and Canada. Back at
Dow Jones in 1992 she was regional sales manager for the U.S. central
region and Canada. In 1994 she became sales director for the western
region for Dow Jones News/Retrieval and Dow Vision, the predecessor
products of Dow Jones Interactive.
In 1995 she was director of corporate news products. In 1996, as
director of enterprise marketing, she moved Dow Jones Interactive to
the World Wide Web. In 1998, as executive director of Enterprise
Products, she led the groups that supported the sale of electronic
news and information products to corporations.
Three years into her marriage, she to decide whether to give up her
Dow Jones job and follow her husband, who was in sales management for
American Express, to a job in the midwest. She relocated and went into
sales as well, but the following year Dow Jones lured her back, to be
a regional sales manager. Then it was his turn to make a big decision,
and he made a career change. "All his life he had a passion for
photography. It just made sense to give it a try," says Hart. Now they
live in Pennington and he is a successful nature and wildlife
"We just took a chance," says Hart. "I believe so much in my husband.
I have often read that if you pursue your dreams and your passions you
will make as much money as in the job you gave up. And he is
incredibly supportive. We both have a passion for travel, and we
relate on that level. I have a busy schedule, but because he has 10
years in corporate he can relate to that."
With her new job she had to give up serving on a trade group’s board,
the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, but she thinks
that time management can help anyone to "have a life." She and her
husband are subscribers to the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival and
attend shows at Paper Mill Playhouse and McCarter, as well as in
London, Philadelphia, and New York. "You have to make sure you have
some down time," says Hart.
When it came to taking over the top job, Hart says that it meant a lot
to her staff that she knew them and had a track record. "Where we do
have cultural differences (between Dow Jones and Reuters) we have been
able to resolve them. We are so driven by the idea that Factiva can be
number one in the marketplace, that while we have differences, we
joke, we put it aside, and then we get on with it."
When the announcement was about to go out, she took her cue from the
research she did on the Factiva database. Before the release went out
she talked to each member of the leadership team, and very soon after
the release was out she talked to the staff. Then she called key
customers directly. "I know a lot of them personally, and it was very
important for me to let them know that Factiva is running full steam
ahead with the complete support of the board."
It’s going well. "In a sales organization," says Hart, "you hear the
word from the organization if it’s not good, and the word has been
"I want to be seen as very focused on the business, and very
driven," says Hart. But she has also in 16 years at Dow Jones tried
to respect people as individuals no matter what their jobs. So she was
particularly pleased to get congratulations from people at all levels
in the company. She remembers being an impatient child and having her
mother tell say "Clare, not everyone is like you, and you have to
learn to accept what everybody’s gifts are and work with the gifts God
has given you, and the gifts God has given to others."
When the announcement was made the chairman and chief executive
officer of Dow Jones & Company called to offer his congratulations.
"To get a call from Peter Kann is one thing, and you are flattered.
Not everybody becomes a CEO — it is a small club," she says. "And
also the operators here called me. To have a good response throughout
the organization — that meant a lot to me. That’s the kind of person
you want to be."
— Barbara Fox
300, Princeton 08543-0300. Clare Hart, president and CEO.
800-369-7466; fax, 609-520-4660. Home page:
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