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FORTUNE’s Future: A New Owner, a Fresh Challenge

A portion of the cover of the Dec. 1937 issue of Fortune magazine.A portion of the cover of the Dec. 1937 issue of Fortune magazine.
A portion of the cover of the Dec. 1937 issue of Fortune magazine.Fortune/Time Inc.

Eighty nine years ago, Henry Luce gave birth to Fortune, promising to provide readers a “clear, coherent, vivid” view of the drama and excitement of the industrial world—“to peer into dazzling furnaces,” travel to “the tip of the wing of the airplane and to the depths of the ocean along be-barnacled cables,” and “follow the chemist to worlds newer than the world Columbus found.”

Today–mark it in history’s calendar–we launch Fortune again. Our new owner, Chatchaval Jiaravanon, has challenged us to build Fortune into the world’s preeminent business media brand and is giving us the resources and runway to meet that daunting challenge. Moreover, he is doing so at a moment that echoes Luce’s early days. Technology has put us at the precipice of a new industrial revolution, driven by the rapidly exploding ability to collect digitized data from everyone and everything and spin it into useful, and increasingly awe-inspiring, intelligence. As a consequence, the coming decades promise a pace and scope of business change unparalleled in the past.

The new Fortune plans to place itself squarely at the center of that change. We will chronicle it, analyze it, benchmark its successes, spotlight its failures, and provide opportunities for business leaders to better understand and profit from it. Our goal is to be the indispensable guide to the new era, all over the globe.

We also will reaffirm our commitment to making business better, in every sense of that word. We will continue to encourage diversity in the workplace, in order to ensure society makes the best use of its most precious resource–people. We will spotlight business’s ability to address the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. And we will prod business leaders to take the long view, elevating innovation and future performance over short-term profit. At the end of the day, business must serve the needs of society, and only if it does so will society allow it to prosper.

So stay with us. We will be investing in our journalism, building up our communities, improving our technology, and expanding our geographic reach. And we’ll be looking to all of you to give us guidance and feedback; to criticize us when we go astray; and maybe even to give us a pat on the back when we get it right. If we do our job well, we will be at your side as you create the future.

One final quote from our founder:

“Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight.” -Henry R. Luce