Steve Parr has been named president and CEO of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., publisher of Elle, Woman's Day and Car and Driver, among others, according to parent company Lagardere Active. Parr will replace Alain Lemarchand effective October 1. Lemarchand will move to another post within Lagardere Active, which itself is owned by Paris-based Lagardere SCA.
Parr previously served as president of Primedia Enthusiast Media and Source Interlink Media, both of which publish enthusiast magazines targeting some of the same general markets as Hachette's. He also served as president of Emap USA, which formerly published the defunct lad mag FHM, and held top positions at Pearson PLC, leading companies in the U.S., Canada, and U.K.
There is an unmistakable sense of "good cop, bad cop" to the executive changes at HFMUS.
Lemarchand was sent from headquarters in France on a cost-cutting mission back in September 2008, withdrawing from the Magazine Publishers of America and ultimately selling enthusiast titles American Photographer, Popular Photography, Sound & Vision, Boating and Flying to Bonnier Corp. He also closed shelter title Metropolitan Home. The closing and sales kept pace with a spate of magazines folding and trading hands across the industry over the last couple of years.
The decision to pull out of the MPA was especially surprising because Hachette was previously a leading player. Chairman Jack Kliger, the former president and CEO of Hachette, served as a highly visible leader for the MPA from 2005-2007. He used his pulpit to proselytize to publishers about the importance of digital platforms, while stressing unity in the face of competition from the Internet. Ironically, Kliger also chastised magazine publishers for not pulling their weight in the MPA, either by not joining or not paying their dues.