Digitas CEO Laura Lang will become the new head of Time Inc. beginning in January and nearly a year after the previous leader of the publishing company was shown the door.
Laura's leadership experience, brand management expertise, understanding of digital and marketing, and strong relationships with the creative and advertising communities are a great fit for Time Inc., parent company Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said in a statement.
She is the right person to lead the company as it aggressively evolves its business during a time of great change and opportunity in publishing.
Lang will replace Jack Griffin, who was dismissed in February after less than six months on the job. News outlets reported that he flooded his offices with consultants to help him implement a reorganization plan, which irritated other senior staffers. He insisted his name would run at the top of the masthead for all of Time's publications even though individual magazines in the company typically made the decision themselves.
Furthermore, two company executives told the New York Times that Griffin would make references to his Roman Catholic faith in meetings. The executives said on at least one occasion, he compared Time Inc. to the Vatican to portray the company's powerful influence among magazine readers.
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Although Jack is an extremely accomplished executive, I concluded that his leadership style and approach did not mesh with Time Inc. and Time Warner, Bewkes said in an internal memo regarding the firing.
After Griffin's termination, an interim management committee composed of three top executives was put in charge of running Time Inc.
Lang has been with Digitas since 1999 and has served as CEO 2008. Digitas is an advertising agency focused on buying digital media products and a subsidiary of Paris-based Publicis Groupe.
I am thrilled to be joining the best journalists and publishing executives in the world at Time Inc. during such an expansion for media and publishing, Lang said. Time Inc.'s premier brands and stellar reputation, along with Time Warner's commitment to lead the digital transformation of all its businesses, will lead to great opportunities to deepen our connections with consumers.
Time Inc. owns magazines such as Time, People, InStyle and Sports Illustrated.
Shares of Time Warner rose 4.19 percent to close at $34.78.