Ken Babby out at Washington Post

Washington Post chief revenue officer and general manager/digital Ken Babby is leaving the paper after 12 years “in order to pursue other digital ventures.”

THE MEMO:

From: Katharine Weymouth
Date: Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 3:01 PM
Subject: Announcement: Important Organizational Changes Effective Immediately
To:

To All Post Employees,

We regret to announce that after 12 years, Ken Babby (Chief Revenue
Officer, General Manager, Digital) has decided to leave The Post in order
to pursue other digital ventures. We will miss Ken greatly.

Ken Babby

Since assuming the CRO & GM, Digital role, Ken has made tremendous
contributions to the growth of washingtonpost.com and our other digital
properties. Under Ken’s leadership, all three of the company’s emerging
businesses (mobile, video, and email) saw exponential growth in traffic,
downloads, engagement, and revenue. The site experienced record traffic in
2011, with Ken working alongside his partners in News. He implemented many
of our e-commerce efforts on the site including the launch of Post Tickets.
In addition to his digital contributions, Ken and his team oversaw the
success of many of our new businesses including: Washington Post Live, The
Capitol Deal, and Capital Business. On the sales side, Ken was also
responsible for leading the Washington Post Media and Washington Post
Digital sales teams, working with VPs Wendy Evans and Steve Stup.

Ken joined The Post in 1999 as a summer intern in IT. After completing
internships at the newspaper and at Digital (then WPNI) over the next two
summers, Ken joined The Post’s IT function full-time in 2002. Over the
next eight years, Ken went from a Marketing Analyst supporting the
Advertising function, to leading the National Technology sales team in
Advertising, to the Manager of Entertainment Advertising, to Director of
the Major Accounts Unit (MAU), to becoming VP, Advertising for all of
Washington Post Media. In each of these roles, Ken brought tremendous
energy as well as innovative ideas, a results focused orientation, and
humility.

Ken’s contributions to The Post over the last 12 years have been
exceptional. His hardworking nature, disciplined management style, and
strong leadership will be greatly missed by all of us at The Post. We wish
him the best on his next endeavor. Ken has agreed to stay on until March
31, 2012 to help us with the transition.

Expanded Role for Shailesh Prakash
In light of Ken’s departure, we have taken the opportunity to evolve our
structure to best position ourselves for future success.

It is our pleasure to announce that Shailesh Prakash will take on
additional responsibility by leading both our Product Development and
Technology functions as Vice President, Digital Product Development & Chief
Information Officer. As we continue to adapt to an increasingly digital
and hyper-competitive world, it is vital that Product Development and
Technology work very closely to define and execute roadmaps that yield
maximum revenue using the best technology possible. The most successful
digital companies, from Facebook to Zynga to Google, have increasingly
blurred the line between Product Development and Engineering and Shailesh
will lead a unified Product Development and Engineering organization here
at The Post. Shailesh brings an extensive and impressive track record of
success in senior positions spanning multiple industries and has
demonstrated success in working with senior teams, building collaboration
between departments, creating customer-focused innovations, and in shaping
environments where talent can flourish. In the six short months he has
been here, he has rolled up his sleeves and dived into the challenge of
building a world-class technology platform and engineering team.

Shailesh recognizes that great product development is created by driving,
in a collaborative way, towards a crystal clear vision, which leads to
flawless execution. Through this approach, he has built strong
relationships across the company with: the Newsroom, Advertising,
Corporate, WaPo Labs, external partners, his organization, and his
colleagues throughout The Post. He has attracted talented architects and
also streamlined his organization.

In this role, Shailesh will report to Steve Hills, President & GM, and work
closely with Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli and other senior Newsroom
Editors, in addition to our VP, Research & Chief Experience Officer Laura
Evans, and Steve Stup, VP, Digital Advertising, to drive excellence in
Product Development and Engineering. Effective immediately, Beth Jacobs,
GM, Mobile, Beth Diaz, Director, Digital Product Development, and Dave
Goldberg, Director, Video, will report to Shailesh. The currently vacant
Director, Business Development role will also report to Shailesh. The
technology organization will remain unchanged and will continue to report
to Shailesh.

Search for VP & Chief Revenue Officer Role Begins Now
As a result of these changes, we are discontinuing our search for Wendy
Evans’ successor and eliminating her former role of VP, WPM Advertising.
We are posting the role of VP & Chief Revenue Officer immediately, where we
will mount an extensive, national search for a CRO who has performed a role
of this scale and complexity for a significant amount of time. We believe
the breadth and mix of experience needed for this critical role requires us
to look outside the organization, and we welcome any qualified referrals
you may have. Page down to access the attachment for the VP & CRO job
posting.

Because we are eliminating the VP, WPM Advertising role, the five
Advertising Directors — Ethan Selzer, Mike Cirrito, Rebecca Haase, Costa
Bugg, and Kate Davey — will report to the VP & Chief Revenue Officer once
the position is filled. Additionally, Steve Stup, VP Digital Advertising,
Jenny Abramson, GM WP Live & WP Magazine, Tim Condon, Director, New
Ventures, Jackie Conrad, Director, Advertising Marketing, and Arnie
Applebaum, GM, Express, ETL, & Capital Business, will report to the VP &
CRO. Administrative Assistants Angela Barnes, Kim Navarro, and Dayne
Seiden will continue to support their respective areas.

Arnie Applebaum Becomes Interim VP, WPM Advertising
We recognize that the search for our new VP & CRO will take time. We want
to provide as much continuity to the WPM Advertising organization as
possible between March 31 when Ken leaves The Post and when we fill the new
VP & CRO role. Arnie Applebaum, currently GM, Express, ETL, & Capital
Business, has graciously agreed to assume the role of Interim VP, WPM
Advertising until the VP & CRO role is filled. The following Advertising
Directors will report to Arnie during this interim period: Ethan Selzer,
Mike Cirrito, Rebecca Haase, and Jackie Conrad. This will enable a
continued focus on the aggressive revenue targets we have established for
the Washington Post Media sales team this year. Arnie brings the right mix
of experience, savvy, and executive maturity to enable the continuity and
success we need during this difficult transition. Arnie will continue to
lead the businesses he has made so successful over the years — Express,
ETL, and Capital Business — and will need all of our support as he
fulfills these dual roles. This interim role for Arnie becomes effective
April 1, 2012.

Also during this interim period, Costa Bugg, Director Advertising
Operations and Kate Davey, Director, Advertising Business & Technology
Operations, will continue their reporting relationship to Usha Chaudhary,
VP, Finance & Administration & CFO. Meanwhile, Steve Stup, VP, Digital
Advertising, Jenny Abramson, GM, WP Live & WP Magazine, and Tim Condon,
Director, New Ventures, will report to Steve Hills, President & GM.

The rest of these changes are effective immediately and the transition is
already underway. Page down to access an updated organization chart that
reflects these changes.

Please join us in thanking Ken for his invaluable service, and Arnie for
assuming this interim role. Also, please join us in congratulating
Shailesh on his new responsibilities.

Sincerely,

Steve Hills
President & General Manager
Washington Post Media

Katharine Weymouth
Publisher, The Washington Post
CEO, Washington Post Media

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