CEO Joe Ripp doesn’t say in his memo to staffers today how many people will be affected by his effort to, as he put it, “right-size the organization” — although the total is expected to be in the hundreds. The job cuts are at least partly designed to make the company more attractive to Wall Street when Time Warner spins off its publishing arm, expected by mid-year. Its success “will depend on how investors view the momentum we are generating at the new Time Inc,” he says. That requires “some substantive and sometimes painful changes to the way we operate and approach our business.” Employees will learn “as early as today” who’s getting the ax. He unveiled plans to restructure the organization, ditching its three brand operating clusters. EVP and longtime Time Inc vet David Geithner — who’s former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s brother, and runs the Style & Entertainment Group — will be out. Former Dow Jones exec Todd Larsen will take charge of the company’s most famous titles including People, Entertainment Weekly, Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune. Evelyn Webster, currently president of the Lifestyle group, will continue to manage publications including Cooking Light, InStyle, and Real Simple. Ed Kelley, who ran American Express Publishing before Time Inc bought it last year, also is leaving. Although it’s “always difficult when we see colleagues leaving the company,” Ripp says that it’s best to take the pain all at once. The company “can continue the recent pattern of annual layoffs for years to come or we can get ahead of and then reverse this trend by developing the investment capital and the ideas to restore our business.” Time Warner will announce its Q4 earnings tomorrow morning.
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