Friday, February 18, 2011

Time Inc.: The Anatomy of a Fiasco (New York Times)

When Mr. Griffin was hired, he was roundly praised, but his efforts to shake up what he saw as a calcified institution through reorganizations and consultants did not take. His approach to management and low opinion of some parts of the organization created dissension that many in the company suggested was going to lead to large-scale departures at Time Inc. after March bonuses were given out. And when he was told by both the people he worked for and the people he worked with that his reliance on a small circle of consultants was not going to end well, he refused to listen, according to executives at Time Warner and Time Inc. Bringing in an outsider is always a risk, and this one led to a big and public black eye.

But how did Time Inc. end up in the corner it was in, turning to an executive who had done a good job at a smaller publisher but was someone it did not know much about?
There's also an interesting article from yesterday's NY Times with more details on some of the insider shenanigans that lead to Griffin's dismissal, including his comparing Time Inc. to the Vatican. Wha..?
Mr. Griffin, a Roman Catholic, made some in the company uneasy by referring to his faith in meetings and interactions with subordinates, two company executives said. On at least one occasion, he compared Time Inc. to the Vatican as a way of illustrating its prestige and might, these people said. Mr. Bewkes personally intervened, asking Mr. Griffin to tone down the religious references.
Read the full "Fiasco" article here.
Read yesterday's article here.

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