Christian A. Hendricks is an award-winning and highly respected digital media executive known for his keen strategic thinking and operating skills. He gets things done while having fun and being realistic. He is a people-focused leader with significant experience in digital, marketing, product, audience, innovation, sales, strategy, operations, M&A, board of directors, and P&L. His "we," not "me" leadership style has been key to the many successes realized throughout his career.
Hendricks' digital leadership began in 1996, when he was appointed president of Nando.net, the McClatchy Company's online publishing division. In 1999, he became McClatchy's vice president for interactive media (CDO). From then until 2017, he led and helped craft the company's digital strategies and initiatives, leading to its digital
business growing from ideas to more than $200 million annually. In 2015, Hendricks' role expanded to include oversight of the company's digital audience and print circulation, corporate marketing, and corporate communications. Hendricks was responsible for more than $400 million in revenue in this role.
While at McClatchy, Hendricks also led its digital investment strategy resulting in the company taking stakes in companies like Apartments.com, CareerBuilder, and Cars.com. In addition to recommending investments, he also actively represented McClatchy's interests via boards of directors roles. The three previously mentioned investments rewarded the company with a more than $700 million return at exit.
In early 2021, Hendricks joined the board of Basis as its first independent board director. The company brought him on due to his extensive experience in the local media and advertising space. Also, in 2021, Hendricks became the board chair for Recruitology, where he had been a board director since 2018. Chris helped steer the company to a successful exit in the chair role, selling the company to Jobcase.
Through his part-time role at the Local Media Consortium (LMC), which he co-founded in 2013, Christian maintains solid relationships with scores of newspaper, television, radio, and digital publishing companies and related solutions providers. He is recognized as an innovator and creator by peers and is relied on for insights and advice regarding digital strategies, business models, and solutions. His industry-related efforts have resulted in him garnering numerous industry awards and recognition.
As Managing Partner for Extol Digital, Chris assists client companies with business and go-to-market strategies. Hendricks also provides gratis executive mentoring and coaching to dozens of executives, founders, and CEOs. Chris firmly believes successful executives are obligated to give back to others in the communities where they succeeded. Hendricks also believes successful executives must contribute skills, expertise, and resources to non-profit organizations.
He has been a board-level contributor to dozens of non-profits since early in his career. He currently serves as a trustee and vice-chair for the Breakthrough Collaborative, a national organization focused on increasing diversity in elementary and high school teaching ranks and providing better pathways to college for students of color in elementary and high school. Hendricks also serves as a board director for the Maynard Institute for Journalism (MIJE), a non-profit focused on DEI training for newsrooms and management training for executives of color in the media industry. He has been on the MIJE board of directors since 2001.
As a long-standing leader in the digital ecosystem, Hendricks' contributions to the success of companies and individuals are substantial. He is a skilled leader of people and an agent for change, growth, and transformation, whether at the operational or board level of a company.
Hendricks lives in Holly Springs, North Carolina, and enjoys golf and participating in Masters Track & Field competitions. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania.