Things are starting to get shaken up at Forbes.
Paul Maidment, editor of Forbes.com and executive editor of the magazine, has resigned. Today is his last day.
We first reported back in mid-May that Forbes staffers were bracing for another round of layoffs that would hit the top of the masthead.
Women’s Wear Daily followed up on that with a report that Lewis Dvorkin, who is now overseeing Forbes’ editorial operations as part of a deal struck when the company aquired his website, True/Slant, was getting ready to make some “ruthless” cuts.
Granted, Maidment’s departure was voluntary, but apparently it was also expected, and seems to hint at bigger changes that may come to the magazine and its website.
“Not a surprise,” one insider tells. “But people are unsure exactly how to contextulize it. The writing was on the wall that someone was going to leave, but was he pushed out?”
Also: “Morale is low and people don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Maidment joined Forbes in 2001 and grew Forbes.com to become one of the biggest business sites on the web, taking an especially early lead in web video. We hear Forbes.com will be heading in a different direction under Dvorkin, and that Maidment had to go.
We have an email out to Maidment for comment. In the meantime, here’s his memo to staffers:
As many of you already know, June 14th is my last day at Forbes. After almost 10 years that have seen Forbes.com transformed in scope, reach and importance during a decade of wrenching change for our industry, I am ready to advance to the next phase of my life (which won’t be starting until the World Cup is finished, of course). This is the right moment to make the break and take the plunge. My thanks to all those who helped make Forbes.com become what it is today. Stay in touch via XXXXX. There will be beers. Good luck and prosper well.
UPDATE: And here’s the Forbes press release announcing Maidment’s departure:
New York, New York (June 14, 2010) – Paul Maidment, Co-Editor of Forbes, announced today he will be leaving the company. In a memo to his staff Mr. Maidment noted, “I am ready to advance to the next phase of my life. This is the right moment to make the break and take the plunge. I am proud of what we achieved at Forbes.com.” Responding to the announcement Steve Forbes, Editor in Chief, said of Mr. Maidment, “Under Paul’s leadership as its editor, Forbes.com has become one of the most trusted and authoritative business and finance sites on the web, solidly founded on the traditions of the Forbes’ brand and voice. During his decade-long tenure, the website’s audience increased eleven-fold, and the range and scope of the editorial offerings and innovations on the site expanded vastly. We wish Paul every future success and we are deeply grateful for his contributions over the past 10 years.” Previous to joining Forbes.com, Mr. Maidment launched the FT.com. In recognition of his work as editor of Forbes.com, Maidment was inducted into the MIN Digital Hall of Fame in 2010, won the Media Business Innovation Award in 2007, won three Editorial Excellence awards for the site and an Editor of the Year Award. In addition, the video column he wrote and presented on international political economy, Notes on the News, won Best Online Business Video Award in 2008.
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