Just five months after Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes tapped a topper to run his weakest business, Time Inc., Jack Griffin ankled Thursday over a disagreement in “style and approach that did not mesh,” the parent said.
A former top exec at Meredith, Griffin was seen initially as a smart choice to succeed the retiring Ann Moore because, in part, of his digital successes.
But apparently Griffin clashed with his executive team at Time Inc. to the point the situation became untenable.
“Until a permanent successor is identified, Time Inc. will be led by an experienced interim management committee, reporting directly to me, composed of Howard Averill, Maurice Edelson and John Huey,” Bewkes said. “You will be hearing from them within the next several days regarding their plans during this transitional period.”
The upheaval will surely fuel new speculation that Bewkes is looking to sell the under-performing business. This, following his spin-offs of AOL and Time Warner Cable.
Griffin could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Bewkes put on a bullish face, saying: “This company and its executive team have made many important advances in the last few years. Throughout, you have distinguished yourselves with professionalism and dedication to your craft, and as a result of that hard work the company’s momentum has been restored.”
For 2010, revenues at Time Inc., publisher of such titles at Time, People, Sports Ilustrated and hundreds of others, revenues dipped 2% to $3.7 billon, but adjusted operating profits rose 89% to $526 million, largely on higher ad revs and cost savings.