Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp announced a key executive hire today. Jeff Bairstow, president of Digital First Media, will be on boarded as the company’s new EVP and CFO.
Bairstow will replace outgoing EVP and CFO Howard Averill who is leaving his post for parent company Time Warner as CFO.
Bairstow and Ripp have a history, previously working together at pharmaceutical company Dendrite International, Inc. For the last two years, Bairstow has been president of Digital First Media, orchestrating strategies for its core media brands to extend their reach across all platforms. Ripp is counting on this experience as an asset for Time Inc. as it circles its IPO.
In March, Time Warner abruptly halted talks with Meredith about a joint venture and announced it would spin off Time Inc. as a separate publically traded company. Former CEO Laura Lang stepped down and Ripp was brought on board as CEO.
“We are well positioned in every way: ad revenue, circulation, digital footprint, editorial excellence and cultural influence,” Ripp said in a memo to employees. “I return to Time Inc. knowing we have what we need to move the company forward.”
Bairstow officially starts on September 3.
Here is the full memo Ripp sent to Time Inc. employees:
August 5, 2013
To: Time Inc. Employees
From: Joe Ripp
Re: Jeff Bairstow Named EVP and CFO of Time Inc.
I am incredibly excited to be coming back to Time Inc., and I look forward to getting to know all of you in September. I am also delighted that in my first staff memo I can announce the hiring of a new key member of our management team: Jeff Bairstow, President of Digital First Media, will be joining us on September 3 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Jeff’s appointment comes as Howard Averill begins his new role at Time Warner. Jeff will assume all of Howard’s responsibilities and direct reports.
I have a long relationship with Jeff and believe he is the ideal person to help guide us as we prepare to become a public company. His intimate knowledge of the digital transformation at play in the media business and his strong public-company financial expertise will be key assets as we shape our independent future.
For the past two years, Jeff has been President of Digital First Media (DFM), a leader in news and information, which operates 21st Century Media properties (formerly Journal Register Company), Media News Group and Digital First Ventures. At DFM, Jeff was known as an executive with a deep understanding of the company’s core media brands, and he was one of the architects of its strategy to extend DFM’s reach across all platforms, ultimately growing digital revenues by more than 50 percent. I originally brought Jeff to the company as Chief Financial Officer for Journal Register in 2010.
We first worked together at Dendrite International, Inc., when he was Chief Financial Officer of the publicly traded pharmaceutical services company. His impeccable judgment and ability to manage relationships with the company’s investors figured strongly in Dendrite’s robust performance for its shareholders. I have every confidence he will be as impressive an executive at Time Inc. I hope you will join me in giving Jeff a very warm welcome in September.
I see great prospects ahead for us. We are well positioned in every way: ad revenue, circulation, digital footprint, editorial excellence and cultural influence. No other company has the kinds of brands we have. I return to Time Inc. knowing we have what we need to move the company forward. We will be setting our own course. It’s an exhilarating opportunity and one we will seize quickly. I’ll be counting on your continued dedication. Much more to come soon.