Andrew Serwer, Former FORTUNE Editor, Speaks to CCI Students

As a student at Bowdoin College, Andrew “Andy” Serwer was more fascinated with reading the Wall Street Journal than his actual business degree. Like many students do, Andy faced a crossroads. Would he go on to pursue his ambitions in the world of journalism or would he work on Wall Street?


Serwer chose journalism. Today he is best known for serving as managing editor of Fortune magazine from 2006 to 2014.

On November 5th, Serwer spoke to CCI students in the University Center. He recounted the stories of his journey to the top, while emphasizing the importance of hard work. “When you get to work an hour early, you’re an hour ahead of all of your competitors. They make it really easy for you to win,” said Serwer. Andrew is living in New York City with his family but grew up in the Washington, D.C. When he joined Fortune in 1984 and steadily ascended within the company. First he was a reporter, then he was promoted to associate editor. Sooner or later Serwer was a senior writer at Fortune. In 1997 he gained media attention in the business world when he dared to use his connections on Wall Street to write an online column called “Street Life.”

“I would set up meetings to speak to executives on Wall Street, and they would appear in their suits, and speak so carefully about their companies that they wouldn’t say ANYTHING.” said Serwer.  “But I was friends with these guys and at the end of the day we’d all go out for drinks and talk about everything they were afraid to say in an interview.”

Serwer brought these experiences to life in his column, telling the lively stories about the after-hour lives of Wall Street characters. Serwer managed to walk the line between scandalous and just plain newsworthy; a balance he cared for meticulously. To add to his packed schedule, Serwer juggled his growing career at Fortune with a second job as a television reporter. He appeared on CNN’s “American Morning,” served as a co-host on CNN’s “In The Money,” made appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s The Today Show and CBS This Morning. Throughout his career he has written for TimeSports IllustratedPolitico, and SLAM Magazine. In November 2006 Serwer was named managing editor of Fortune, replacing Eric Pooley. “I was doing it all and I was barely sleeping,” said Serwer. “I loved it, but I knew there would be a point when I couldn’t continue it all at once.” This August, Serwer left the company when executives appointed Alan Murray as the new top editor.