John Q. Griffin Leaves Time Inc.

Exec was last of Jack Griffin hires to go

John Q. Griffin, the last of Jack Griffin’s big outside hires remaining at Time Inc., is leaving after four months there.

Jack Griffin, no relation to John Q., as he’s known, brought him on during his short-lived tenure as CEO to be president of a newly formed News Group that was meant to put a bigger emphasis on the company’s flagship Time magazine. A seasoned media executive, John Q. was a former publishing president of the National Geographic Society following publishing roles at Hearst and Rodale.

“All I can really say is, this is an amicable parting,” said John Q., who will be leaving by week’s end, adding, “I have great respect for Jack Griffin.”

His departure follows those of Peter Kreisky and Randall Rothenberg, other Jack Griffin hires who also left in the wake of his firing after five months. It could have cost Time Inc. more than $2 million to pay out the rest of his contract, given industry standards for executive pay at that level.

Howard Averill, the company's CFO, sent out a memo today saying that the News Group's three publishers, of Fortune, Time and Money, would now report to him. Averill is one of three higher-ups at Time Inc. who have been running the company since Jack Griffin's ouster, and his assumption of News Group oversight signals he may be taking a more active part in day-to-day operations.

John Q. Griffin, who got a shout-out from National Geographic editor Chris Johns at last night’s National Magazine Awards, said he had no immediate plans but that he hopes to jump back into the industry at some point. At the moment, he said, he intends to “just read a little bit and have some fun. I hope I’m not done.”

In other changes Averill laid out, Kim Kelleher, who recently became publisher of Time, was promoted to worldwide publisher of the brand. And, following John Q. Griffin's departure, John Cantarella, the group's digital president, will report to David Geithner, svp and group general manager.