F+W Dismisses Top Execs Amid Layoffs
The company's CEO, COO, and CTO have all been let go, employees learned Monday.
In a dramatic changing of the guard at the niche magazine publisher, F+W Media has dismissed its CEO, COO, and CTO, Folio: has learned.
The company’s board of directors revealed Monday its decision to part ways with CEO Tom Beusse, COO Joe Seibert, and CTO Joe Romello, installing Greg Osberg, CEO of media consulting firm Revlyst, as F+W’s interim CEO while a replacement is sought.
The dismissals come as the New York-based publisher moves to lay off about 40 staffers from its Iola, Wisconsin office, following an earlier round of cuts in December.
Beusse had served as CEO since January 2016, when he took over for longtime F+W chief David Nussbaum, who departed the company months earlier to take on the CEO role at America’s Test Kitchen. Prior to F+W, Beusse had been president of USA Today‘s sports media group. Seibert and Romello both joined the company late in 2016.
Former CFO Jim Ogle, who had been acting CEO before Beusse was hired, left the company last year to become CFO of Access Intelligence, parent company to Folio:.
Founded in 1913, F+W operates about three-dozen print and digital media brands, primarily serving the arts and crafts, design, and lifestyle spaces.
In a brief phone call with Folio:, interim CEO Greg Osberg described the circumstances around the changes and his consultative role with the company.
After determining that a change was needed, Osberg tells Folio:, ownership decided to bring him on—as well as a team of consultants from business advisory firm FTI Consulting—in a move that’s less an indictment of existing management’s strategic plan, but rather indicative of a desire to expedite the company’s necessary transformation.
“They were not necessarily in disagreement with the strategy that had been laid out, but they wanted to see a little more rapid deployment and transformation around that strategy,” Osberg says. “The actions of the owners by hiring FTI and an entire team of former operators to come in and help the company should be taken as a very good sign.”
Osberg says he and FTI will be examining the totality of the company’s operations to ensure they’re oriented to support the areas in which the company sees the bulk of its opportunities for growth—among them, digital, events, and e-commerce.
Osberg adds that while change is needed, the company still sees potential in its print business, and that its focus needs to be in providing as deep a set of offerings to its served communities as possible.
“We’re coming at things from multiple directions with one goal in mind: to download as much as we can in short order about the existing strategy, and then help the company execute against it in an accelerated manner.”