2 Top Time Inc Execs, CRO, Sale President Step Down

Just weeks after Time Inc. reportedly turned downa 10-figure buyout offer from entertainment investor Edgar Bronfman Jr., two Time Inc. executives have announced their decision to step down come 2017.

EVP and CRO Mark Ford will carry the new title of senior strategic sales advisor beginning January 9 and president, while COO of sales and marketing Mark Ellis will leave the company on March 1.

President of digital sales Brad Elders will succeed Ford. Ford will report to CEO Rich Battista.

Ford, who has spent three decades at Time Inc., stated: “After all of the strides we’ve made this year in better aligning the sales force with the market and setting the team up for even greater success, I feel like it is a good time to pass the baton to Brad. He is the right leader, and it’s the right time for him to take the sales organization to the next level."



Elders will oversee Time Inc.’s North American sales organization, including the category, brand and digital sales teams. He will also manage INVNT, Time Inc.’s global brand communications and live media agency, and Media Networks Inc., which develops new techniques in targeted media, native advertising and branded content.

Elders will also serve on the board of Viant, Time Inc.’s people-based data targeting company.

Battista noted Elders’ experience in native content, video and data targeting, which he called “major growth areas for Time Inc.”

Elders joined Time Inc. in April 2016 as group publisher of Sports Illustrated Group before becoming president of digital sales in July. Previously, he was general manager of partner studio at AOL.

Ellis will remain with the company until March to assist with the transition process. In the statement, Ellis commented on his decision to leave the company after he worked on “realigning the sales force, implementing new training, tools and insights.”

Over the summer, Time Inc. restructured its business and replaced senior management to attract advertisers to its newly created brand groups, which contain marquee titles like Sports Illustrated and People.

According to a Wall Street Journal report last week, Time Inc. has asked Morgan Stanley and Bank of America to help it evaluate takeover bids or partnership interest, leading to rumors of a potential sale.

Time Inc.’s digital advertising revenue increased 63% in the third quarter. However, this growth was not enough to offset print revenue decline, which was about 10% to $288 million, compared to the same quarter last year.

Circulation revenues decreased $38 million or 15%. The Wall Street Journal  3% year-over-year to $750 million in the third quarter.

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