Randall Rothenberg, Time Inc.'s first chief digital officer, resigned on Tuesday, less than a week after Time Warner ousted Time Inc. CEO Jack Griffin — and just a month after Griffin had hired him.
Rothenberg, who left his post as head of the Interactive Advertising Bureau to come to Time Inc., is returning to IAB.
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes told staffers that Griffin's "leadership style and approach did not mesh with Time Inc. and Time Warner." This time, Bewkes was less harsh in his memo:
We considered him a valued and collegial member of our management team and hoped he would stay. Randall's departure will be mitigated by his assurances that he will continue to work closely with Time Inc.
Last week, Griffin issued a public statement denying that his ousting had anything to do with style or results: "I was recruited and hired by Time Warner to lead the business transformation of Time Inc., based on my clear record of success and results in the industry. This continued at Time Inc., with the consistent and documented acclaim of Time Warner’s senior management. Every action I took over the past six months was made with that ultimate goal in mind. My exit was clearly not about management style or results."
Here's the full Time Inc. memo on Rothenberg's resignation:
Randall Rothenberg informed us today that he has accepted an offer to return to the Interactive Advertising Bureau as its President and Chief Executive Officer.
Randall joined us a month ago as our first Chief Digital Officer and moved quickly to develop relationships and coordinate opportunities across Time Inc. We considered him a valued and collegial member of our management team and hoped he would stay.
Randall's departure will be mitigated by his assurances that he will continue to work closely with Time Inc.
"Time Inc. is a valued member of the IAB, and as I return to that industry leadership role, I look forward to helping the teams here as you continue your digital transformation," Randall said today. "I was attracted to Time Inc. by its fantastic brands and terrific people, and believe that the company is well positioned to take advantage of the digital revolution in media and marketing."
Getting to know Randall better has been a great benefit to Time Inc., and partially as a result we are redoubling our commitment to the IAB. We are pleased to announce that Time Inc. will become a charter sponsor of the association's new IAB Ad Lab and of the IAB's important cross-industry measurement standardization initiative, where we will take an advisory board seat. We also will continue our participation on the IAB's Board of Directors and on its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. These positions will give the company and our executives access to the best thinking in the industry."