The Huffington Post Media Group, with its 500+ person newsroom, isn’t exactly a mom-and-pop operation, but that doesn’t prevent its namesake president and editor in chief from playing the part of den mother. Arianna Huffington says she “wants everything to be completely open and transparent” in her downtown Manhattan compound, which explains the large glass window in her office that looks out over her staff. Huffington’s office has a welcoming, lived-in vibe thanks to fun memorabilia such as a Wheaties box with her face on it, a gift given when she visited General Mills. There are also many photographs of her two daughters and, surprisingly for this digital trailblazer, loads of books.
The Greek-born doyenne is quick to explain the anachronistic volumes. “Even though we are a digital newsroom, I’ve always believed in representing the best of the old and the best of the new,” she says. Joining Huffington’s appreciation for literature is a love of art—particularly pieces with sentimental value. One of her favorites is a Picasso print—“Jacqueline With Flowers”—a birthday gift from Tim Armstrong, the AOL chief who was instrumental in the 2011 acquisition of the Huffington Post. “He bought it for me because he thought I look just like her,” Huffington, who wrote a 1988 biography of the artist, says with a laugh.
And her apparent resemblance to Picasso’s second wife, Jacqueline Roque, isn’t the only similarity worth noting: Huffington herself is as warm and charming as her workspace. With snack bowls, scented candles and comfy chairs for one-on-ones with editors, all that seems to be missing from this executive’s office is a welcome mat outside the door.
Main image by Mia Baxter