Beleaguered Business Review Editor Resigns

Wetlaufer’s affair with interview subject created controversy

After nearly two months of hype, turmoil and conflict, Suzy Wetlaufer ’81 suddenly resigned her position with the Harvard Business Review (HBR) yesterday, more than a month after she admitted having an affair with an interview subject she was profiling.

“Harvard Business Review will never again be a place where I will be able to work to my full potential,” Wetlaufer said in an e-mail to the Review’s editorial staff yesterday announcing her resignation.

After the scandal made national headlines earlier this spring, Wetlaufer gave up her post as editor of HBR and became an editor-at-large for the magazine.

But as of yesterday, she left the magazine for good.

“We wish Suzy well in her future endeavors,” said Walter Kiechel ’68, editorial director of the Harvard Business School Publishing (HBSP), in a statement yesterday.


Wetlaufer first came under fire earlier this year after conducting an interview with former General Electric CEO Jack Welch.

Her interaction with Welch had developed into an affair, which she had concealed until she was confronted by Welch’s wife.

Wetlaufer then acknowledged the affair might have compromised her objectivity in writing the article and called the article’s integrity into question.

“Suzy did what she felt was the right thing to do under the circumstances,” said Karen Schwartzman, Wetlaufer’s spokesperson.

“When she found a conflict had arisen, she requested the piece be pulled,” Schwartzman said. “She did what she thought she should do.”

According to Schwartzman, Wetlaufer and HBR reached an “amicable agreement” that she cut all ties with the magazine.

While Schwartzman would not comment on the specific terms of the settlement, she told the Associated Press that the package included a financial settlement.

Though Wetlaufer had initially resigned as editor and assumed the editor-at-large position as a compromise that would keep her at HBR, her spokesperson said Wetlaufer “regretted the actions she took were not sufficient to maintain the trust of her colleagues.”

After word of the affair circulated, four HBR editors wrote letters to Kiechel asking for Wetlaufer’s resignation.

At the meeting where Wetlaufer was demoted, two of the editors walked out, saying they thought she should quit outright—and then, in protest, Harris Collingwood ’77 and Alden Hayashi resigned their HBR posts.