Mark H. Willes

Mark H. Willes

Mark Hinckley Willes (born 16 Jul 1941) is a Latter-day Saint business leader who currently heads Deseret Management Corporation and CEO of the KSL Broadcast Group.

Willes was born in Salt Lake City to Joseph S. Willes and his wife, the former Ruth Hinckley. Willes' mother, Ruth, was the sister of Gordon B. Hinckley. Willes graduated from West High School in Salt Lake City. He received his bachelors degree and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

After graduating from Columbia Willes became a professor at the Wharton School of Business and a researcher with the Philadelphia Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank. He later left Wharton and became Vice President of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve.

Willes served a term as president of the United States Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1977 to 1980. He later served as an executive with General Mills where among other positions he served as president, Chief Operating Officer and eventually vice chairman of the Board of Directors. For his cost-cutting and elimination of many jobs, he was widely dubbed "The Cereal Killer".

Willes was CEO of Times Mirror Company from 1995-2000. In 1997 Willes took on the additional duty of being publisher of the Los Angeles Times. In this position he tried to expand the newspapers outreach by starting a section aimed at Latino readers.

Willes served for almost a decade as president of the Minneapolis Minnesota Stake. Willes and his wife Laura are the parents of five children.

After the Tribune Company purchased Times Mirror, Willes retired. He then worked for about a year as a business professor at Brigham Young University (BYU). He then served as president of the Hawaii Honoluu Mission from 2001-2004. Willes later served as chairman of the board of the Polynesian Cultural Center, beginning in 2005, although he first became a member of the board in 1996.[1] He was a major donator to the construction of the canoe learning compound. BYU-Hawaii also established renamed their Center for International Entrepreneurship as the Mark and Laura Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship.[2]

Willes also donated to BYU's Neal A. Maxwell Center for Religious Scholarship which lead to the eastablishment of the Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies, named for his wife Laura, being established in 2007 as part of the Maxwell Center.[3]

Willes currently has served as chairman of the Board of Deseret Book Company and CEO of Deseret Management Corporation since March 2009.


  1. ^ LDS Church News, March 25, 2005
  2. ^ LDS Church News, Oct. 1, 2005
  3. ^ LDS Church News, Jun 7, 2007

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