According to the current conventional wisdom, Time Inc.’s new CEO, Laura Lang, won’t rock the boat immediately when she starts her new job in January. The last person to have the job, Jack Griffin, was applauded for some of the personnel moves he made during his five-month tenure—but his decision to shuffle some roles around ruffled the wrong feathers.
That’s not to say Lang, who was hired away from Digitas, won’t make her mark. Here’s how things might shake out among the key players:
John Huey: The company’s powerful and independent editor-in-chief will probably be fine, as will other top editorial people. Lang has no content experience, making her unlikely to meddle in editorial, and doing so would be a political nightmare, not least because Huey is a one-man power center within Time Inc.
Steve Sachs: As the in-house consumer marketing guru for all Time Inc. brands, Sachs—executive vice president of consumer marketing and sales—is probably also on the safe side because Lang, while an advertising expert, lacks consumer marketing experience. The same logic applies to Paul Caine, Time Inc.’s chief revenue officer.
Maurice Edelson: The company's general counsel has a member of the triumvirate—with Howard Averill and Huey—that’s been running Time Inc. since Griffin’s sudden ouster. His role encompasses strategy, including the magazines’ tablet plans. He could be in trouble on both fronts. New CEOs often like to have their own general counsel, and given that Lang herself has worked in strategy (and will be keen to make her mark digitally), she's likely to have strong ideas about what that strategic role should be.
Howard Averill: Averill has transcended his role as CFO lately, adding oversight for the News Group as well as ad sales and consumer marketing. CEOs like to have their own CFO, but Averill is said to be close to Time Warner CFO John Martin, which could protect him.
Stephanie George: Time Inc.'s chief marketing officer expanded her role during Griffin's tenure, building up a marketing services business, an area seen as key to publishers' future. It's also Lang’s bread and butter, though, so it wouldn’t be surprising if she shakes things up there.