Time Inc.’s Lang Announces Shakeup

Outlines growth strategy for publisher

Time Inc.’s Laura Lang today bumped up Paul Caine to the role of group president, signaling an emphasis on global growth at a company facing a tough business climate.

Caine, who has quickly established himself as CEO Lang’s right-hand man, continues as chief revenue officer, a role he got under Lang's short-lived predecessor Jack Griffin. And while he won’t get any new direct reports, he will have a global mandate as well as a “clear authority to steer our advertising product road map,” Lang wrote in an internal email sent out following a quarterly management meeting of the company’s top couple hundred executives.

With Caine focusing full-time on the overall ad picture for the company, Lang promoted David Geithner, a gm and finance guy (and brother of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner) to Caine’s old job of head of the Style and Entertainment Group, which includes People, the company's cash cow but recently challenged celeb weekly; In Style; and Entertainment Weekly.

Lang said that Time Inc. would assume a more global outlook throughout the company, with Evelyn Webster, evp of the Lifestyle Group, taking responsibility for IPC, Time Inc.’s British publishing counterpart (where, incidentally, she rose to CEO before coming to Time Inc. in January 2011). The Lifestyle Group and IPC have been seen as sales targets, but it's unclear if today's move will solidify their future at the company or not.

Lang also asked Todd Larsen, the newly named group president of the News and Sports Group, to lead an international strategy for the overall company.

Lang spoke in more detail than she has before to such a large group of employees about her plans for Time Inc. since becoming CEO in January. In her remarks, she talked about the company’s rollout of new advertising products, which Caine has been taking out to the marketplace. She also stressed the importance of growing paid content (“We will stop giving away so much of our content for free,” she wrote in her email), although as the company still hasn’t filled its head consumer marketing job, that process seems to be further behind. She also told those assembled that the company was working on adding a video expert and had hired an agency to help the firm beef up sales of its titles in digital storefronts.

Digital is an obvious area of focus for Lang (formerly CEO of Digitas), and today, she named Fran Hauser to lead an "innovation lab" while heading up digital for the Style and Entertainment Group. In another sign of the great attention being paid to digital at the company, Mark Golin, who is widely recognized for making People.com a digital powerhouse, was quietly promoted over the summer to group editor of Style and Entertainment, adding responsibility for print operations at the unit to his digital oversight. 

One issue Lang didn't address at the meeting was layoffs, except to say that the company is "investing in people." That will likely do little to placate the many employees still on eggshells about the future of staffing in light of the company’s rough ad revenue picture, though.

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