Thomas O. Ryder

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Thomas O. Ryder
Alma materLouisiana State University
OccupationBoard Member & Director at

Thomas O. Ryder (born c. 1944) is an American businessman, investor and corporate board member who has had a long career in the publishing and financial services industries. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Amazon.Com; Interval Leisure Group, Inc.; Quad Graphics, Inc.; RPX Corp, Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.[1]

Education and early career[edit]

Ryder was born in Varnville, SC, but was raised in Alexandria, La. where he attended public schools.

Ryder received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Louisiana State University in 1966.[2]

After graduating from Louisiana State University in 1966, he was hired as a publishing trainee at Time Inc. and in 1968 became a publishing executive at Xerox Education Publications. In 1972, he joined Vincent Drucker and Frank McCulloch as the founding executive team in Education Today Co. Inc. in Palo Alto, Ca. The company published magazines and books for teachers and parents, including Learning, The Magazine for Creative Teaching. Ryder was President of the company and a member of the board of directors. From 1980 until May 1984 Ryder was Senior Vice President of CBS Magazines.[citation needed]

American Express[edit]

Ryder served as the President of American Express Travel Related Services International, a division of American Express Company from October 1995 to April 1998.

He had been President of American Express Merchant-Related Services World Wide and had joined the company as President of American Express Publishing World Wide in May 1984.

Reader's Digest Association[edit]

Ryder served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. from April 1998 to December 2005 and served as its Chairman of the Board from April 1998 to March 2007. Ryder retired from RDA when the company was sold to a private equity firm.[3]

The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (RDA), a global media and direct marketing company, is best known for its flagship publication founded in 1922, Reader's Digest. The company was founded by husband and wife DeWitt and Lila Bell Wallace in 1922 with the first publication of Reader's Digest magazine, but grew to include a diverse range of magazines, books, music, DVDs and online content. As Chairman and CEO of the company that published the world's most widely read magazine, Reader's Digest, Ryder was responsible for a total global circulation of almost 40 million and well over 100 million readers in 60+ countries, with company sales of nearly $2.5 billion.[4]

In 2002, the company purchased Reiman Publications, based in Greendale, Wisconsin, from Madison Dearborn Partners. Reiman Publications published Taste of Home, Healthy Cooking, Simple and Delicious, Birds & Blooms, Country, Country Woman, Farm and Ranch Living and Reminisce. It was one of the largest magazine publishing acquisitions in U.S. history.

In March 2007, after being publicly traded for 15 years, Reader's Digest Association was acquired by an investor group led by Ripplewood Holdings, a private equity firm.

On September 28, 2015, it was announced that the company's name was officially changed from "Reader's Digest Association" to "Trusted Media Brands, Inc."[5]

Boards and chairmanships[edit]

Ryder has been an Independent Director at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. since April 2001. He currently serves on the Capital and Compensation Committees. He formerly served on the Governance Committee and was Chairman of the Audit Committee.[6]

Since 2002, Ryder has served on the Board of Director of Amazon (NASDAQ), was named Lead Independent Director and serves as the Chairman of Audit.

He serves on RPX Corp., since 2009, (pre IPO, NYSE) and is the company’s Lead Independent Director and is the former Audit Chairman. He is currently on the Compensation Committee and is Nominating Chairman.

He has been on the board of Quad Graphics (NYSE) since 2010 and is on the Audit Committee.[citation needed]

Former boards[edit]

Ryder served as the Chief Executive Officer of The Reader's Digest Association Inc. from April 1998 to December 2005 and served as its Chairman of the Board from April 1998 to March 2007 when the company was sold to a private equity firm.

He served on Virgin Mobile USA (NYSE) from 2006-2009; and was Chairman of the Board; Audit Committee Chairman, and a member of the Compensation committee. The company was acquired by Sprint-Nextel in July 2009.

Ryder served on World Color Press (private) from 2008-2010 and was Lead Independent Director and a member of the Audit committee. The company was acquired by Quad Graphics in July 2010.

He served on Startek Corporation(NYSE) from 1996 – 2000 and was chairman of the Audit Committee.

From 1972-1980 he swerved on the board of Education Today Company, Inc. (Private), where he was CEO and Co-Founder.

He served on the boards of directors for Club Mediterranee and American Express International Bank.


Ryder was chairman of the board of the MPA—The Association of Magazine Media and was given The Henry Johnson Fisher Award in 2007 for lifetime achievement in magazine publishing.[7]

Ryder received an honorary doctor of humane letters from the University of Southern Connecticut on May 27,2010.[8]

Ryder was inducted into the LSU Alumni Hall of Fame in 1993[9] and, in 1987, the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication Hall of Fame.[10]


  1. ^ "LEADERSHIP TEAM". Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  2. ^ "Thomas O. Ryder". Retrieved April 2, 2015.
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  5. ^ Inc., Trusted Media Brands,. "In Historic Move, The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. Changes Name To 'Trusted Media Brands, Inc.'". Retrieved 2015-10-02.
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  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2014-11-04.