As widely expected, Time Inc. announced on Monday that Jack Griffin will be the company’s next chief executive officer, replacing Ann Moore, who is retiring after 32 years at Time Warner’s publishing unit. Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes made the announcement. Griffin starts at the end of September.
The move caps an unusually busy summer of executive shuffling in the magazine business.
Bewkes praised Griffin, who left Meredith Corp. a couple weeks ago to take the Time Inc. gig, as an “exceptional executive who knows how to expand the reach and relevance of strong publishing brands” and “a champion of high-quality journalism.”
He also praised Moore, the first and only female CEO in Time Inc. history: "On behalf of all our colleagues, I want to thank Ann Moore for her 32 years of distinguished service at Time Inc. She has made so many contributions over that period, including launching some of our biggest brands and diversifying our advertising client list, and, most recently, advising me on recruiting Jack. And she has done a remarkable job of leading the company over the past eight years, a challenging time in publishing."
That “challenging time” included a dramatic restructuring in 2008 during which roughly 600 staffers at the mega-publisher were laid off. (“It’s been a home run,” Moore said in 2009, a few months after the restructuring was executed. “It changed a culture that had been getting in the way. Decisions, efficiency -- and innovation -- are occurring faster inside Time Inc. than ever before.")
Time Inc. said Moore will retain the chairman title during the transition, then hand that over to Griffin, too.
Griffin is also leaving on a high note. Meredith, which publishes women’s titles like Better Homes & Gardens, More and Family Circle, last week reported a “marked a return to earnings growth” during its 2010 fiscal year. According to Folio, in terms of magazine industry advertising market share, Meredith’s increased to 12.3 percent -- the highest mark in company history.