Walter Kiechel III (born July 21, 1946 in Tecumseh, Nebraska) is an author and business journalist. He has served as Managing Editor of Fortune magazine and as the Editorial Director of Harvard Business School Publishing, producer of the Harvard Business Review. His most recent work is The Lords of Strategy, which The Wall Street Journal has described as a "clear, deft and cogent" history of the management consulting industry.
Born to Walter Kiechel Jr., a prominent Washington, D.C. attorney, and Mary Kiechel, Kiechel III grew up in Alexandria, Virginia before attending Harvard College on a Reserve Officers' Training Corps scholarship. Kiechel was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated Cum Laude in 1968, when he was commissioned into the United States Navy. There he served in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea aboard the destroyers USS William R. Rush (DD-714) and USS Charles R. Ware (DD-865), eventually attaining the rank of Lieutenant. During his naval service, Kiechel married Eugenia Bethea Dunstan (1946-2008), also of Alexandria, with whom he has a daughter and a son.
Honorably discharged in 1973, Kiechel went on to the J.D./M.B.A. program at Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, completing his degrees in 1977. From there he joined Time Inc. (now a part of Time Warner), as a Researcher/Writer for Fortune, where his work covered a variety of topics in the managerial sphere. Ascending the ranks at Fortune, he published his first book, Office Hours: A Guide to the Managerial Life, in 1989, which compiles many of the articles the journalist wrote for his regular column of the same name. During this time Kiechel hosted a weekly television series on CNBC, and achieved the top position at the publication in 1994, succeeding Marshall Loeb as Managing Editor. In an unusual move, he was removed from that position less than a year later, and replaced by John Huey, who later became editor-in-chief of all Time Inc. publications. Having left Time Inc., Kiechel was appointed Editorial Director of Harvard Business School Publishing in 1998, overseeing all editorial content of the Harvard Business Review and all other books and publications of the organization.
Currently, Kiechel continues his career as a freelance writer, authoring articles for such publications as The Washington Post and others. He has one younger sister, Victoria Kiechel, an architect, and one younger brother, Conrad Kiechel, also a journalist. Walter Kiechel makes his home in Hoboken, New Jersey.
- Kiechel III, Walter (2010). The Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World. New York: Harvard Business School Press. p. 320. ISBN 1591397820.
- Wooldridge, Adrian. "Big Think In the Boardroom". The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- Bernstein, Adam (26 September 2011). "Walter Kiechel Jr., paper company executive". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- "104 Elected to Phi Beta Kappa". The Harvard Crimson. 11 June 1968. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
- "Julia Kiechel, Harold Birnbaum". The New York Times. 20 August 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- Emmons, Gary (March 2010). "Lords of Strategy". Harvard Business School Alumni Bulletin. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
- Kiechel III, Walter (1989). Office Hours: A Guide to the Managerial Life. New York: Harper Collins. p. 302. ISBN 0060972173.
- Deirdre, Carmody (2 May 1994). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; A Shaper of Magazines Retires". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- Kiechel, Walter (2 March 2012). "How Mitt Romney, as consultant in chief, would fix the economy". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 March 2012.