Rich Battista's rise at Time Inc. is nearly complete: 17 months after joining the company, he has been named president and CEO, taking over for Joe Ripp who was named executive chairman of the board.
Battista joined Time Inc. in April 2015 as president of People and Entertainment Weekly. In January he was named president of the Entertainment & Sports Group. In July, Ripp elevated Battista to president of brands.
"I am thrilled and honored to lead this great organization and its exceptionally talented employees," Battista said in a statement. "During this dynamic time in media, we are transforming Time Inc. to a cross-media company and are uniquely positioned to leverage our brands, scale, data and insights to significantly grow new lines of business in service to advertisers, marketers and consumers."
The company has been in transition since it was spun off from Time Warner in 2014. It has sought cost cuts through layoffs and buyouts of hundreds of employees, it merged brands, shuttered titles and shuffled leadership roles.
This week, the company launched its first streaming network, called PEN, which taps the content of the People and Entertainment Weekly brands in a new ad-supported digital video service.
Ripp was in his second stint at Time Inc. having first joined in 1985 as comptroller. He remained with the company through the merger with AOL. He returned in 2013 as CEO just as the company was spun off from Time Warner.
"I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to lead this tremendous company for the past three years, and I am excited about its future," said Ripp. "As we look to the next phase of our strategy, Rich is the right choice to execute our plans and deliver shareholder value."
Battista joined Time Inc. from Mandalay Sports Media, where he was CEO. He spent 18 years—on and off—at Fox. From 2004 to 2008 he was CEO of Gemstar-TV Guide where he engineered a turnaround of the TV network and magazine portfolio.
Time Inc. shares are down 25 percent in the last year. The board today affirmed it was on pace to meet Q3 2016 revenue expectations.