In Circulation: Unoccupied posts leave room for growth

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In Circulation: Unoccupied posts leave room for growth

 

Last week saw a round of high-level departures from magazine posts: Victor F. Ganzi resigned as president, CEO and director of Hearst Corp., and Jack Kliger moved from the CEO post at Hachette Filipacchi Media US to the newly created chairman position.

 

While much has already been written about the negative implications of such changes, the growth opportunities for the companies involved have been largely ignored. In both cases, experienced senior executives have stepped up to the plate.

 

At Hearst, Frank Bennack has temporarily taken on Ganzi's role. Bennack, the vice chairman of the Hearst board of directors, served as president and CEO of the company for 23 years before Ganzi and is expected to hold to position for at least a few months as a search committee sources a permanent replacement. In his first tenure as CEO, Bennack oversaw a sevenfold increase in revenue at the company, thanks to a series of investments, acquisitions and startups, and a letter he sent to Hearst employees last week indicates a similar approach this time around:

 

“I am confident that we will move forward seamlessly, building on our strong electronic and print products, and demonstrated record of performance,” Bennack wrote. “After 121 years, Hearst is experienced when it comes to adapting to change — we have proven over the course of our long history that we are successful in any medium and in any time, constantly offering new ideas and innovative products, platforms and services to our customers and our industry.”

 

At Hachette, too, diversified growth is the name of the game. Alain Lemarchand, COO of sister company Lagardere Active, is taking the reins from Jack Kliger. Lemarchand will oversee the magazine and digital businesses in the Americas, the digital arm of which has grown steadily in the past few years.

 

“Alain's been a trusted part of the senior team for years, as far as strategies about taking the company in different directions,” noted Anne Janas, SVP of corporate communications for Hachette. “And he's been very open and clear in the fact that he is interested in making acquisitions and expanding in digital. Like all media companies, we're interested in making changes and maintaining the growth we need to stay competitive in this market.”

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