Rothenberg Exits Time Inc, Returns To IAB


It looks like Time Warner's loss is the Interactive Advertising Bureau's gain.

After the shortest of stints, Randall Rothenberg is leaving Time Warner as chief digital officer and heading back to the IAB, where he will regain his position as president and chief executive officer, the IAB said Tuesday.

Time Inc. has no plans to replace Rothenberg, the company said Tuesday.

Late last year, then-Time Inc. CEO Jack Griffin poached Rothenberg from the IAB to serve as EVP and chief digital officer of Time Inc. -- a new position at the company. Rothenberg had previously led the IAB for four years.

Last week, however -- after less than six months on the job -- Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes fired Griffin. In a memo, Bewkes said that Griffin's "leadership style and approach did not mesh with Time Inc. and Time Warner."



Time Warner executives are understandably unhappy about losing Rothenberg.

"We considered [Rothenberg] a valued and collegial member of our management team, and hoped he would stay," Time Warner brass said in a memo to staff on Tuesday. That said, "Randall's departure will be mitigated by his assurances that he will continue to work closely with Time Inc."

Along with such assurances, Rothenberg and the IAB are doing their best to mend fences with Time Warner. "Time Inc. is a valued member of the IAB, and as I return to that industry leadership role, I look forward to helping the teams here as you continue your digital transformation," Randall said in a memo to Time Inc. staffers.

Making clear that there are no hard feelings, the IAB on Tuesday said that Time Inc. had just reaffirmed its commitment to be represented on the IAB board of directors. Time Inc. also agreed to continue its board-level sponsorship of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, according to the IAB.

In addition, Time Inc. has agreed to contribute funding to an upcoming cross-industry measurement initiative and will become a charter sponsor of an impending IAB Ad Lab.

Just last week, Time Inc. promoted Fran Hauser to president of digital for Time Inc.'s Style & Entertainment and Lifestyle groups. Per her promotion, Hauser will also be managing Time Inc. Digital Labs, a new program at the company of which little is known.

"The goal [of the Digital Lab] is to amplify innovation around both consumer and advertising products," Hauser told Online Media Daily last week. "It is still very much in its early stages ... We are thinking through structure, culture and process. It's a critical initiative for the company."

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