From our president: Truly an honor

Published: November 2013

At the end of February I’ll be retiring after 13 years as president of Consumer Reports. Before that I served on the board of directors for 22 years. Three decades of service to this treasured American institution and the consumers we serve has been the thrill of a lifetime.

I know “thrill” may seem like a strange word for something as serious as testing and rating thousands of products every year, evaluating services, distributing our findings and buying advice to millions of consumers, and advocating for consumer rights in Washington, D.C., and state capitals across the country. But it’s immensely satisfying and fulfilling to be the head of one of the few institutions in the U.S. that you can trust to be unbiased, free of commercial influence, honest about findings, and totally on your side—watching your back in a complex and sometimes dangerous marketplace.

As I drive to work each day, I almost always feel a sense of energy and excitement knowing that I’ll be surrounded by a staff of smart, creative, mission-driven people finding innovative ways to give consumers more control over their lives.

I love being at an organization that is beholden to no one but the consumer. I love that Consumer Reports helps millions be stronger and smarter consumers, and make better, more confident choices. And I love working for an organization that is values-driven: dedicated, courageous, engaged, caring—and expert—in everything we do.

For many years, the founding chair of Consumer Reports was a professor of economics at Amherst College in Massachusetts, Colston Warne. By coincidence, when I was a young boy growing up in the town of Amherst, I was Colston’s paperboy. Back then, I didn’t know Consumer Reports, but now, more than half a century later, I’ve had the good fortune to run this amazing organization that he helped establish.

We all know that life unfolds in unpredictable ways. I’m thankful that mine brought me to Consumer Reports. In my final column next month, I’ll share with you my thoughts and hopes for the future of this dynamic institution that you and I so highly treasure.

Jim Guest

Editor's Note:

This article appeared in the January 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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