After college, Pecker began his career as an accountant at Price Waterhouse and, in 1979, joined the accounting department at CBS's magazine division, rising to vice president and controller.  Eight years later, CBS sold its magazine division, in a leveraged buyout, to its manager, Peter Diamandis, and Pecker continued. Diamandis later sold the magazines to Hachette Filipacchi Médias. After Diamandis's departure three years later, Pecker was appointed CEO at Hachette Filipacchi Media U. S. . In 1999, Pecker left Hachette, when he raised capital from Thomas H. Lee Partners and Evercore Partners to buy American Media, publisher of the Star, the Globe, the National Enquirer, and the Weekly World News.