At Time Inc.'s People, even longtime staffers at the publishing unit of AOL Time Warner are considered outsiders. So when Kathleen Kayse, a 19-year Time Inc. veteran and publisher of Money,
|Kathleen Kayse, publisher, 'People'|
"I was the first outsider in many years," Ms. Kayse says.
But Ms. Kayse's stellar reputation as a strong team leader and good person to work with preceded her. "I think she's a very natural person. People warm to her quickly. What you see is what you get," says Jack Haire, an executive vice president at Time Inc., who has worked with Ms. Kayse throughout her time at Time Inc. and says she is "one of my favorite people."
After working for Time out of Chicago for 15 years, Ms. Kayse moved to New York in 1998 to take over the floundering Your Company. "All I had to do was move my life," she says. While Mr. Haire says the job was a "challenging assignment" that would have "worried" other people, Ms. Kayse, 45, saw it as an opportunity to prove her mettle and develop her leadership skills. The 5-year-old magazine "wasn't on anybody's radar screen," she says.
Ms. Kayse rebranded Your Company as FSB: Fortune Small Business, took the rate base down and "started building a reputation as a change agent." FSB turned a profit after the first year, Ms. Kayse says.
A trying time
In November 2001, after three years with FSB, Ms. Kayse became publisher of Money. "It was a trying time," she says. "I was brought in to instill passion and spirit."
Although Ms. Kayse says she didn't want to leave her team at Money, she had her eye on a move to People and made sure Time Inc. execs knew about it. The publisher slot had been open since Peter Bauer had been promoted to president of People in August. "I had lunch with [Executive Vice President] Nora McAniff, and I said, 'How can I work for People?' She said, 'You just have to ask,' and I said, 'I'm asking.' "
Two weeks later, the position was hers.
Ms. Kayse has no intention of letting People rest on its already rich coffers. Ad pages at People were up 5.9% to 808.4 for the first three months of 2003 over the same period in 2002. Revenues for the period were up 10.3% to more than $160 million.
"I've always been nice to her," Mr. Haire notes, "because I'm sure I'll be working for her one day."