Teren graduated from Santa Clara (Calif.) University and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1979. He and a business partner opened Chuck E. Cheese's franchises in Minneapolis-St. Paul and the surrounding area before branching out into child care and other businesses. In 1990. well into his career, Teren went back to school, earning his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1992.
Soon after graduation the intrepid Teren was hired by the Walt Disney Co., where he worked for five years in Los Angeles. He joined Disney as the director of business development for Disney Consumer Products North America. Teren was responsible for the development and business of Disney interactive products.
In 1997 he left Disney for the Washington Post Co., where he spearheaded new media and electronic publishing projects, running Washingtonpost.com and Newsweek.com as well as forging and publicizing the company's powerful alliance with MSNBC.
Through all this success. Teren says. he neither hid nor advertised his sexual orientation. That is. until he met his partner, Peter Meachum (b. 1973), an agent assistant at Innovative Artists. During his tenure at the Washington Post Co., he and Meachum decided to have a commitment ceremony, and he told everyone in the office. The company, in turn, held a big bash in the couple's honor.
Teren was instrumental in creating the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, an organization established in November 1996 to advance common interests and recognize achievement in the worldwide interactive community. He also is vice chairman of the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA). Also in 1996, Teren was named president of Digital Ink Co., The Washington Post Company's digital media and electronic information services subsidiary.
In 2000, he was appointed chief executive officer of Cahners Business Information, a company that includes Variety, Publishers Weekly, Interior Design magazine, and hundreds of trade publications and Web sites in its portfolio. He resigned just one year later, in 2001.
Today, sitting in his rented apartment on New York's upper west side (he is searching for a home to buy), Teren reiterates that his sexual orientation "has neither helped nor hindered" his professional career.