Newly named Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp won’t start until September, but he’s already made his first hire. It's Jeff Bairstow, who will be evp and CFO of the publishing giant as it prepares to spin off from Time Warner.
Bairstow and Ripp have a long history of working together, first at Dendrite International, a drug software company where Ripp was president and COO after leaving Time Warner and where Bairstow was CFO. In 2010, Ripp hired Bairstow as CFO at regional newspaper chain Journal Register Co. where Ripp was chairman.
For the past two years, Bairstow has served as president of Digital First Media, a two-year-old company that was formed to manage Journal Register Co. and MediaNews Group. He's known for a no-nonsense style and expecting staffers to attend meetings on weekends, even on major holidays.
At Time Inc., Bairstow will fill the position held by Howard Averill, who is moving over to the same role at Time Warner. Bairstow may be a more traditional CFO than his predecessor, who stepped outside the conventional CFO bounds when he helped run Time Inc. after Jack Griffin was fired as CEO.
But while Ripp is seen as a quasi-insider because of his long history at Time Inc. (he was its former CFO), his pick for CFO may signal that he wants to bring in leaders who won’t have any sentimentality when it comes to making tough financial decisions.