NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Randall Rothenberg is returning to run the Interactive Advertising Bureau two months after leaving to become Time Inc.'s first digital officer.
Mr. Rothenberg, of course, was hired by Time Inc.'s then-CEO Jack Griffin, who was abruptly ousted last Thursday after five months in his post. Time Warner argued that Mr. Griffin's "leadership style and approach did not mesh with Time Inc. and Time Warner."
Time Warner seemed to be calculating that sending Mr. Griffin packing now might help it hold on to the Time Inc. executives he was reportedly alienating. But now the move has instead cost it Mr. Rothenberg, an executive whom many at the company had hoped would stay.
Reached by phone, Mr. Rothenberg said it had been a difficult decision to leave the IAB in the first place "so the opportunity to go back is a great one."
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Read the full memo, signed by the troika of Time Inc. executives installed to run the company on a temporary basis.
February 22, 2011
TO: Time Inc. Colleagues
FROM: Howard Averill, Maurice Edelson and John Huey
RE: Randall Rothenberg
Randall Rothenberg informed us today that he has accepted an offer to return to the Interactive Advertising Bureau as its President and Chief Executive Officer.
Randall joined us a month ago as our first Chief Digital Officer and moved quickly to develop relationships and coordinate opportunities across Time Inc. We considered him a valued and collegial member of our management team and hoped he would stay.
Randall's departure will be mitigated by his assurances that he will continue to work closely with Time Inc.
"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 today. "I was attracted to Time Inc. by its fantastic brands and terrific people, and believe that the company is well positioned to take advantage of the digital revolution in media and marketing."
Getting to know Randall better has been a great benefit to Time Inc., and partially as a result we are redoubling our commitment to the IAB. We are pleased to announce that Time Inc. will become a charter sponsor of the association's new IAB Ad Lab and of the IAB's important cross-industry measurement standardization initiative, where we will take an advisory board seat. We also will continue our participation on the IAB's Board of Directors and on its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. These positions will give the company and our executives access to the best thinking in the industry.
We wish Randall the best at the IAB.
HMA MFE JWH