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Time Inc. Digital Chief Rothenberg Boomerangs to IAB

  |  February 22, 2011   |  Comments

An amicable break-up, as publisher "hoped he would stay."

Randy Rothenberg will return to the Interactive Advertising Bureau just one month after leaving to become Time Inc.'s chief digital officer. The reversal comes in the wake of the surprise ouster of the guy who hired him, CEO Jack Griffin, who was at the publishing company for only five months.

randallrothenbergHowever, Rothenberg was not shown the door, Time Inc.'s transition leadership pointed out.

"We considered him a valued and collegial member of our management team and hoped he would stay," they said in a memo to staff obtained by AdAge.

According to the memo, Rothenberg had already contributed significantly to Time Inc.'s digital initiatives. Indeed, considering the brevity of his tenure Rothenberg appears to have made a striking impression.

"Getting to know Randall better has been a great benefit to Time Inc., and partially as a result we are redoubling our commitment to the IAB," stated the memo signed by three executives appointed to steer the company while a new CEO is sought.

That commitment includes a pledge to sponsor the IAB's Ad Lab as well as its measurement standardization initiative. It will also continue to sit on the IAB's board.

As before, Rothenberg's title at the IAB will be president and CEO. The association has not settled on an official start date, as his resignation was submitted only today. A spokesperson for the trade group said he is not expected to start before its Annual Leadership Meeting in La Quinta, CA next week, but he will be there as a host.

During his three-year tenure at the IAB, Rothenberg has presided over significant IAB membership and revenue growth. The period has also been marked by an aggressive interest in policy matters, with the establishment of a D.C. outpost and significant lobbying efforts.

Time Inc. didn't immediately return calls.

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