The company drifted for the next nine months without a CEO—months when advertising continued to erode. Bewkes finally hired Laura Lang, whose experience running the digital ad firm Digitas sounded promising. But he was unhappy when, in the fall of 2012, she presented another round of declining numbers. Then, a few months later, Lang found herself in the middle of an embarrassing scandal. At the InStyle Golden Globes after-party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Lang’s husband made lewd advances toward several female Time Inc. employees, including InStyle publisher Connie Anne Phillips. Time Warner human resources got involved to clean it up. Within a few months, Phillips had been let out of her noncompete contract (she became publisher of Condé Nast’s Glamour) and Lang had left the company with a $19 million severance. (Lang could not be reached for comment.)
- Here’s a tip: If your print magazines are shedding profits and your web strategy ain’t delivering, maybe you don’t pay $19 million in severance packages to underperforming execs.
(I mean, good for Lang but Jesus.)