Rumor Buster: Yes, Former Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore was Back in the Building, but...

Just Visiting Friends and Fixing Her BlackBerry, Time Inc. Says

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Ann Moore
Ann Moore Credit: AP

Rumors have escalated inside and outside Time Inc. in recent days after former CEO Ann Moore was spotted in the company's hallways. Is she consulting for the company as it continues its search for a new CEO?

Sample rumor: "She has been hanging out there, helping sort of advise and counsel behind the scenes," an executive at another company said.

Time Inc. parent Time Warner , of course, abruptly fired its pick to succeed Ms. Moore, Jack Griffin, in February after about five months in the job. Time Warner has hired Hedrick & Struggles International to find a new successor, while a triumvirate including Time Inc. editor in chief John Huey runs Time Inc. in the meantime.

But being in the building doesn't necessarily mean anything, an executive recruiter said. "It's not uncommon for recent ex-CEOs to have an office or assistant in the company they recently departed," he said. "It's often part of their contracts. And as part of Ann's contract, she may even still technically be a consultant for Time Inc. So the fact that Ann is 'walking the halls' at Time Inc. isn't unusual. I'd be very surprised, however, if she was leading or directing the company on strategy and or Jack 's successor."

A Time Inc. spokeswoman said Ms. Moore has no office, no assistant and no role at Time Inc.

"She's definitely not consulting," she said. "Just here saying hi to friends."

Ms. Moore was also getting her BlackBerry fixed, the spokseswoman said. Ms. Moore could not be immediately reached.

For his part, Mr. Griffin has been visible in New York, holding meetings around town as he considers his next move.

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