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; Pecker stayed on in his position . 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.