Magazine giant IPC Media has announced that chief executive Sylvia Auton is to retire on 3 May after 36 years with the company.
The news comes shortly after the publisher of magazines including NME, Country Life and Woman concluded a 90-day consultation on axing 150 UK jobs.
Here is the announcement in full:
Sylvia Auton, Chairman and CEO of IPC Media, is to retire on 3 May after 36 years with the company. Sylvia, 63, was appointed CEO in 2003. In 2007 she became Executive Vice President, Time Inc. based in New York, retaining overall responsibility for IPC as Chairman, and returned to the UK at the beginning of 2011 to resume her role as CEO.
Says Sylvia: "One of the best things about being part of the media industry has always been – and continues to be – the opportunity to grow within it, and during these 36 years, I've been part of as dramatic an evolution as you'll find in any business anywhere.
"With vision, with the best people working as a team, with great brands and with hard, hard work, IPC has become one of the most successful and influential media companies in the UK, a company that leads the way in creativity, innovation and market insight. I am proud to have been part of the IPC story and proud of all the people I have had the privilege to work with. I will miss them, and the many people I have known across the industry, and I will continue to follow IPC's life closely – after all, how could I not?"
Says Evelyn Webster, Executive Vice President of Time Inc: "Sylvia has been a true inspiration to me and to many, many others at IPC. She transformed IPC from what many people called ‘The Ministry of Magazines' into the modern, multi-platform media company it is today. Sylvia has always believed passionately in IPC's brands, its people and its potential, and she has worked tirelessly to drive the company's transformation. On behalf of Time Inc. I would like to thank Sylvia for her incredible contribution. And personally, I would like to thank her for her support, her wisdom, and her friendship."
Sylvia Auton joined IPC in 1977 as a marketer before moving rapidly through the publishing ranks to become a core member of the IPC management team. In 1998, she was appointed managing director of IPC's Inspire, then the UK's largest specialist publishing company. Sylvia was part of the Board team that developed the strategy and business under the Cinven-backed management buy-out from Reed Elsevier in 1998. And in October 2001, she was instrumental in the acquisition of IPC Media by Time Warner, for £1.15bn – then the biggest transatlantic media deal ever made. She was appointed CEO in 2003.
She is also a director of ultimate parent company, IPC Group Limited and is a trustee of the charity Target Ovarian Cancer.