Evelyn Webster appointed interim CEO of Guardian US
Eamonn Store, who was appointed CEO in 2014, leaves the company following a year of growing losses, and news that about 30 percent of the staff have to be let go
The Guardian continues to struggle in the States. Sure, its audience probably continues to grow, but publishing is still a business, whether in print or digital.
But still, it came as a surprise to some that Eamonn Store would be leaving his post as CEO of Guardian US after a little more than two years. Store was an agency guy, and surely the idea here was to combine his agency and digital expertise to the Guardian’s advantage. His replacement, at least on an interim basis, is Evelyn Webster. Webster lost out at Time Inc. during the latest management shuffle that saw Rich Battista get elevated to CEO, with Joe Ripp also forced out.
Webster had started and spent her entire career at IPC Media, before it became Time Inc. UK. Webster started as a graduate trainee, worked her way up through the circulation and marketing department, then become a publisher within the IPC Specialist Group, working with the brands Country Life and Horse & Hound. She was made Executive VP at Time Inc. in 2011.
Guardian US said in September that it would make major cutbacks after losing more than $15 million in the prior year. Some media reporters speculated that one possible move to save the franchise would be to shutter its US operations completely, maintaining its editorial function in the UK. That is still possible, and may be why the publisher slapped the “interim” label on this move.
Here is Guardian News & Media announcement:
London, UK – January 12, 2017 — Guardian News & Media (GNM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Evelyn Webster as interim chief executive officer (CEO) of Guardian US. The appointment follows the announcement that Eamonn Store, currently CEO of Guardian US, has decided to leave the business later this month.
Evelyn joins GNM on an interim basis, as GNM begins the search for a permanent business leader. She has most recently spent over five years as Executive Vice President of Time Inc, one of the largest media companies in the world, where she oversaw the business operations and strategy for 26 award-winning brands that reached more than 100 million consumers.
In this role Evelyn will be responsible for leading the commercial and operations teams, working closely with US Editor Lee Glendinning, as Guardian US continues to focus on rebalancing its core business model to ensure it is able to serve its loyal and growing readership. Evelyn will report directly to Guardian Media Group CEO, David Pemsel.
David Pemsel, chief executive officer, Guardian Media Group, said: “Eamonn has led the US business with passion and dedication at a time of huge volatility across the industry, and I’d like to thank him for all his hard work and many achievements. I am also delighted to have attracted someone of Evelyn’s calibre and experience, on an interim basis, to work closely with Lee Glendinning, the editor of Guardian US, and the senior team on the ongoing transformation of our US operations and our continued focus on maximising the enormous opportunities for Guardian journalism in the US market.”
Eamonn Store said: “As the digital news market continues to evolve at speed I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved at Guardian US over the last three years, including the doubling of our overall audience and significantly increasing our overall revenue. Now feels like the right time to hand over the reins as I explore the next chapter of my career in an area I am passionate about, working to help senior corporate leaders drive stronger corporate citizenship by developing deeper, more enduring cause related partnerships with those dedicated to doing good in this world. I will leave the Guardian with enormous thanks and gratitude for the role I have enjoyed so much and the team that have supported me.”
Evelyn Webster said: “The Guardian is an incredible global brand and one which I have long respected on both a personal and professional level. The opportunity to spend time working with the highly talented Guardian team, to further unlock the potential of the brand’s enormous footprint in the US, with around 40m monthly visitors, was simply too good to pass up.”
Prior to joining Time Inc in 2011, Evelyn spent 18 years at IPC Media, joining as a graduate trainee in 1992 and working her way up to the role of Chief Executive Officer.