Press Release: Time Inc. Leadership Shakeup Continues As Mark Ford Steps Down & Mark Ellis Departs
Editor's Note: Publishing Executive recently spoke with Mark Ellis in a lengthy interview on Time's new sales strategy and structure.
NEW YORK, NY, December 13, 2016)—Today, Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) CEO Rich Battista announced that Mark Ford will step down as Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer effective January 9, 2017. Ford will assume the new role of EVP and Senior Strategic Sales Advisor, also reporting to Battista. Brad Elders, President of Digital Sales, will succeed Ford as EVP and Chief Revenue Officer, reporting to Battista. In addition, Mark Ellis, President & COO, Sales and Marketing has decided to leave the company effective March 1, 2017.
“Mark Ford has had an illustrious 32 year career at Time Inc. with a track record of driving revenue and innovation for some of our biggest brands. His relationships in the business are unparalleled, and his understanding of the marketplace was a driving force behind the company’s recent sales transformation and new go-to-market strategy,” Battista said. “I look forward to working with Mark in this new role and for him to continue to use his deep experience and client relationships to help grow our business.”
Ford commented, "I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to play a variety of leadership roles during my more than three decades with the company. Now after all of the strides we’ve made this year in better aligning the sales force with the market and setting the team up for even greater success, I feel like it is a good time to pass the baton to Brad. He is the right leader, and it’s the right time for him to take the sales organization to the next level. I look forward to working closely with Rich and Brad on major enterprise-wide sales partnerships."
Elders will oversee Time Inc.’s North American sales organization, including the Category, Brand and Digital sales teams. In addition, Elders will oversee INVNT, Time Inc.’s global brand communications and live media agency, and Media Networks Inc., which develops new techniques in targeted media, native advertising and branded content. He will also serve on the board of Viant, Time Inc.’s people-based data targeting company.
Battista noted: “Brad is an accomplished, highly-respected and versatile sales leader with a proven track record of success in digital sales and marketing, including native content, video and data/targeting – major growth areas for Time Inc. Since joining us earlier this year, Brad has demonstrated strong strategic leadership and vision. He is one of the most innovative and effective sales executives in our industry, and I am excited about his taking on this critical role at this pivotal moment."
Elders commented, “Time Inc.’s high-quality content and enormous scale, combined with our rich data and insights, create an unmatched point of difference in the industry. I couldn’t be more excited to lead this team as we build on the existing ad products and offerings we have in place across all platforms, and all of the success Mark has led and the team has achieved."
Elders joined Time Inc. in April 2016 as Group Publisher of Sports Illustrated Group before becoming President of Digital Sales in July. He previously was at AOL, where he most recently was General Manager of Partner Studio. Prior to that, Elders served as SVP of Sales, overseeing AOL’s east region. Throughout his career, Elders has held senior positions at various media companies and start-ups, such as Function(x), TidalTV and Joost.
Regarding Mark Ellis’ decision to leave, Battista said, "Mark Ellis’ digital expertise from his time at AOL and Yahoo! helped accelerate our digital sales and marketing efforts. He has done an excellent job partnering with Mark Ford to transition our sales and marketing teams, and I am grateful that he has agreed to stay for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition.”
Ellis commented, "I am proud of the work we've accomplished in the two and a half years I have been here, realigning the sales force, implementing new training, tools and insights. After a couple of productive years of transition, all while commuting from Detroit, I feel now is the time for me to pursue the next chapter of my career."
Time Inc.’s digital advertising revenue increased 63% in the third quarter. Native advertising is a significant growth area for the company, with native revenue on pace to nearly double in 2016 vs. 2015.
Time Inc. occupies a differentiated space in the media and advertising world by bringing together its premium content, large audiences, native capabilities, and advanced targeting through Viant's proprietary data and targeting. This combination offers end-to-end solutions for marketers through the path to purchase cycle, along with unique ROI measurement capabilities.