Harris Interactive Inc.

Researching success

Harris Interactive Inc., headquartered in New York, is both the 13th-largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world with annual revenue of $184.3 million for fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, and an estimated 850 full-time employees.  For 50 years, the company's parent has paved the way for innovation and efficiency in proprietary and public research, and is widely recognized for both The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls in the United States, and its early breakthroughs in Internet-based research methods such as the Harris Poll Online.  Harris is home to the world's largest cooperative database, comprising more than six million online consumers from 145 countries, that supports its research in the political, business-to-business and business-to-customer arenas.  Clients range from nonprofit organizations to government agencies and all benefit from Harris' custom research offerings.

Presidential polling

Originally established as Louis Harris and Associates (LHA) in New York City in 1956 by Louis Harris, the company's first major project was to conduct polling for John F. Kennedy's bid for the presidency, thus propelling Harris to the top of Kennedy's strategy team.  In 1962, LHA pioneered the use of "key precinct" models (still used today) to predict results of presidential and congressional elections for CBS.  Harris gave up polling for political candidates a year later and began writing a column, The Harris Poll, which has appeared weekly ever since.  LHA was later acquired by the now-deceased brokerage firm Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette in 1969.

International and interactive
Two of LHA's longest-running surveys, biannual studies of the travel industry and of advertising agency reputations, were introduced in the 1970s.  By the middle of the decade, LHA was organizing large-scale, multi-national survey research for banking services in some of the world's largest economies and was bought out by the Gannett Corporation (now owner of the world's largest circulation newspaper, USA Today).  Then in 1982, the BusinessWeek/Harris Poll began.

The 1990s saw a shift in the company, which started with Louis Harris' retirement in 1992.  Harris started an international affiliate network including international firms to create a global network for the company he helped build.  The Gordon S. Black Corporation (GSBC), a provider of business-to-business and consumer research, acquired LHA in 1996 while LHA's subsidiaries in London and Paris were sold to Sofres, a French-owned research firm.  GSBC, joining its holdings with LHA's under one umbrella, created Harris Black International in 1997 and changed the company name to its present Harris Interactive two years later as it went public.

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Harris Interactive Inc.


161 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (585) 272-8400
www.harrisinteractive.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: HPOL
  • Stock Exchange: NASDAQ
  • President & CEO: Kimberly Till
  • 2009 Employees: 848

Key Financials

  • 2009 Income: $-75 million
  • 2009 Revenue: $184 million

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