c.2013 New York Times News Service

c.2013 New York Times News Service

Time Inc. announced Thursday that Norman Pearlstine, its former editor-in-chief, would return to the company as executive vice president and chief content officer. He is leaving Bloomberg L.P., which he joined in 2008 and where he also was chief content officer.

In bringing back Pearlstine, who was editor-in-chief from 1995 until 2005, Time Inc. said it would eliminate the editor-in-chief position. The current person in that job, Martha Nelson, is leaving Time Inc., the company said.

Nelson, the first woman to be editor-in-chief at Time Inc., had held the position only since January, although she has been with Time Inc. for 20 years and served as founding editor of InStyle as well as editor of People.

Time Inc. said the changes were meant to strengthen the leadership team before it is spun off from its parent company, Time Warner, which is expected to happen early next year.

In a surprisingly frank memo to the staff, Time Inc.’s chief executive, Joseph A. Ripp, said the goal of bringing back Pearlstine was to break down barriers between business and editorial.

“We believe effective collaboration across business and editorial lines is imperative if we are to succeed as an independent company,” Ripp wrote in the memo. “With the headwinds facing our industry, we must approach our business through a more entrepreneurial lens and break free from bureaucracy. We are confident this new structure will create a strong partnership between business and editorial, promote creativity and result in a cohesive vision for each of our brands that will be essential to long-term growth.”

As chief content officer, Pearlstine will supervise all Time Inc. brands, which include such household names as Fortune and People, and look for growth in other outlets including digital and television.

Pearlstine worked for more than two decades at The Wall Street Journal before joining Time Inc. While at Bloomberg, he oversaw growth in television, radio, magazine and digital products and oversaw Bloomberg Government, a web-based subscription service covering legislative and regulatory issues.

In addition, Time announced that it had hired a new executive vice president of consumer marketing and general counsel.