New Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp continues to ply his folksy approach, gathering non-senior management for a town hall meeting Wednesday to discuss his vision for the company's future. A Time Inc. source said it was the first time in recent memory that a CEO had spoken directly to the company’s rank and file, which “in and of itself was a huge thing,” he said.
The gathering, which included a Q&A session with employees, was short on news, as Ripp hit on many of the topics he’s been discussing since first taking over as CEO last month. Sources present said that he continued to push for a “brands-first” approach and further decentralization within the company, and reiterated his desire to get rid of unnecessary bureaucracy (including the 34th floor executive suite that’s come to symbolize it).
At the same time, Ripp was realistic about the company's position, addressing the uncertainty that has come with having five CEOs in three years and the importance of upholding a positive image for Wall Street and shareholders as the company prepares to spin off from Time Warner. And while print remains essential to the company’s revenue, he said, all brands need to be digitally focused as well.
Ripp’s message seemed to have gone over well with the staffers in attendance. “Everybody in our area walked away pumped up from the meeting,” a source added. “They were saying that they felt good about his knowledge of the company.”