Mr. Guest became president and chief executive officer of Consumer Reports in February 2001 after a long career in public service and the consumer interest, including 21 years as Chair of its Board of Directors.
Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports is the world's premier consumer testing, research, publishing, and advocacy organization with annual revenue of more than $240 million and more than eight million subscribers to its products and services. ConsumerReports.org is the largest subscription-based publication website, Consumer Reports is one of the top-circulation magazines in the U.S., and the organization's advocacy arm, Consumers Union, has close to one million online activists who advance its role as a national powerhouse in promoting pro-consumer policies and market reform at both the federal and the state levels. Consumer Reports' expert technical staff tests more than 3,000 products a year in its 50 labs and at its 327-acre Auto Test Center, producing the unbiased ratings and evaluations for which the non-profit organization is known.
During his tenure, Mr. Guest has transformed Consumer Reports into a multimedia publisher with a wide variety of digital offerings, including Consumer Reports Mobile, the Consumer Reports Mobile Shopper, which allows consumers to scan a bar code to get information at the point of sale, and versions of the magazine and its content for e-readers and tablets. Under his leadership, the organization has also launched several new initiatives including ShopSmart, a shopping magazine targeted at women; the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, which develops ratings for services like doctors, hospitals, and drugs; and a grassroots capability that has mobilized hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens to help pass landmark health and safety laws. In 2009, Mr. Guest oversaw Consumer Reports' acquisition of The Consumerist, an edgy consumer-empowerment and social media site with approximately three million visitors.
Mr. Guest has helped Consumer Reports achieve its success while being a vigilant steward of its core values and principles, including the refusal to accept advertising or free samples of any kind. All the products tested by Consumer Reports are paid for by the organization, and most are purchased anonymously at retail by a team of mystery shoppers.
He has also been a strong leader in the international consumer movement, currently serving as the President (Board Chair) of Consumers International, the global federation of more than 220 organizations from 115 countries that serves as the independent and authoritative global voice for consumers. CI's mission is to build a powerful international movement to help protect and empower consumers everywhere.
Mr. Guest's public service career has spanned more than four decades. After graduating from Harvard Law School and completing a Woodrow Wilson fellowship in economics at MIT, he worked as legislative assistant to Senator Ted Kennedy. In the early 1970s, Mr. Guest moved to Vermont where he served as Banking and Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Development and Community Affairs.
Over the last 20 years, he has headed several public policy and advocacy groups including Handgun Control Inc. and the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, as well as Planned Parenthood of Maryland. He was also the founding Executive Director of the American Pain Foundation, a national consumer information, education, and advocacy organization for pain prevention and management.
Mr. Guest credits his first job for introducing him to one of his biggest influences in consumer advocacy. He worked as the paperboy for Dr. Colston Warne--one of the founders of Consumer Reports and Consumers International and a pioneering leader in the national and international consumer movements.