The world's biggest magazine company is getting a new boss. Ann Moore, who has served as chairman and chief executive of Time Inc. since 2002, is relinquishing the CEO title to a newcomer, Jack Griffin, according to multiple reports. Griffin resigned his post as chief of Meredith Corp.'s (MDP) National Media Group earlier this week without explanation.
Moore is expected to remain on as chairman, in an arrangement similar to the one used when Jeff Bewkes succeeded Richard Parsons at the top of Time Warner (TWX), Time Inc.'s parent company. After a year-long transition period, Bewkes acceded to the chairmanship as well.
A Time Inc. employee for more than 30 years, Moore had a difficult tenure as chief executive, taking over shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks and the bursting of the tech bubble pushed the economy into recession. She launched a slew of magazines early in her reign, including Cottage Living, Suede and a new version of Life, only to fold all of them except for All You, a low-priced women's title. But repeated rounds of rigorous cost-cutting have paid off: When Time Warner announced its quarterly earnings Wednesday, it reported a 50 percent improvement in the magazine division's operating profit.
Griffin has fared somewhat better during his time running Meredith's magazine operations. The unit, which publishes Better Homes & Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal, was the only one of the major magazine publishing houses to record ad page growth in 2009, an accomplishment that led to Advertising Age naming it the publishing company of the year.