Time Inc. Names Rich Battista President and CEO

Rich Battista - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of TIME

Rich Battista - Publicity - H 2016

The former executive vp will replace Joe Ripp, who remains executive chairman.

Time Inc. said Tuesday that it has promoted Rich Battista to the posts of president and CEO, effective immediately.

He had so far been executive vp of Time Inc. and president, brands. Joe Ripp, who has led the company since its separation from Time Warner, will drop the CEO title but remain executive chairman.

"I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to lead this tremendous company for the past three years, and I am excited about its future," said Ripp. "We have made real progress in the transformation into a multimedia, multi-platform enterprise. As we look to the next phase of our strategy, Rich is the right choice to execute our plans and deliver shareholder value.”

Battista said: “I am thrilled and honored to lead this great organization and its exceptionally talented employees, particularly as we aggressively move to unlock the enormous potential of our brands across the media landscape. During this dynamic time in media, we are transforming Time Inc. to a cross-media company and are uniquely positioned to leverage our brands, scale, data and insights to significantly grow new lines of business in service to advertisers, marketers and consumers. I am eager to get started and to win.”

Wall Street had been expecting Battista to rise to the top day-to-day job sooner or later as the company continues to look to rebuild its business for the digital age.

Prior to joining Time Inc. in 2015, Battista served as CEO of Mandalay Sports Media, "where he led the media and content enterprise by creating, acquiring and investing in businesses and assets across the sports media landscape," the company said. Before that, he held senior management roles at Fox Television and served as CEO of Gemstar-TV Guide International from 2004 to 2008, where he worked on the revitalization of TV Guide magazine, TV Guide Network and TV Guide Online.

Said John Fahey, lead independent director of Time Inc.: "Rich is a strong, experienced business builder who has an excellent grasp of our strategy and brands. We are confident that he is the right leader for the future."

Battista oversaw Time Inc.'s acquisition of Hello Giggles and announced the launch of the People/Entertainment Weekly streaming service, with the company looking for more of these types of digital initiatives.