Forbes Media Restructures Sales Staff | Adweek
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More Change for Forbes Media

Kevin Gentzel out in quiet transition
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There’s been more fallout from the leadership change at Forbes Media as another longtime executive, Kevin Gentzel, has quietly left the company. 

Gentzel worked there 12 years, climbing the sales ranks to chief revenue officer. He'll be replaced by Meredith Levien, a member of his sales team, while Mark Howard, a digital exec, will add duties as senior vp of digital ad strategy. 

Forbes Media spun the news as Gentzel's leaving to practice the entrepreneurship it espouses. Gentzel is joining video news distribution network NDN, or News Distribution Network, as its chief revenue officer, and had kind words for his past employer. "After 12 amazing years at Forbes, I am so excited to be joining News Distribution Network," he emailed. "This is an amazing opportunity to help build out an attractive advertising solution that scales for the exploding video sector."

But change in the executive suite isn't unusual for a company evolving as Forbes has as it struggles to stay independent in a challenged economy and endures speculation about financial troubles and a sale. It's turned over control to non-Forbes family members, bringing in its first outsider president and CEO, Mike Perlis, a year ago. Fortune vet Mike Federle came aboard as chief operating officer last fall.

Perlis maintained the company was on solid footing. "The company's doing really well, and is profitable," he told Adweek. "The flagship's doing just fine. The company's not for sale."

Forbes has made radical changes to the magazine and website, putting advertisers, unpaid contributors and journalists on the same footing. Gentzel played a big part in that; he rolled out AdVoice, which let clients publish their own blogs alongside editorial staff contributions. The program was well received by advertisers, although some critics said it blurred he line between church and state.

Perlis said the next step for the brand would be to roll out other advertising offerings, which will be taken to market in the coming weeks.

"AdVoice will definitely evolve, and iterate, but we're going to unveil a series of other products that are innovative," he said.