Updated: Future’s CEO Spring Exits To Cut Costs

UK-based magazine publisher Future is “eliminating an entire tier of overhead” in the shape of its own CEO Stevie Spring and finance director John Bowman, in a move that could signal its exit from the U.S. market.

Spring will be replaced by Future’s UK CEO Mark Wood (the former ITN CEO), Bowman replaced by UK finance director Graham Harding.

Chairman Peter Allen: “The Board would like to thank Stevie and John for their considerable contribution in leading Future through a period of unprecedented change. The recent restructuring which positions the company for its digital future has allowed the Board this opportunity to achieve substantial savings by eliminating an entire tier of corporate overhead.

“The Board is confident that the market-leading progress in generating digital revenues will continue under Mark’s stewardship. He and Graham can now manage a more profitable business to the benefit of both shareholders and staff.”

UK CEO Mark Wood: “I’m delighted to be taking over from Stevie at such an exciting time in our development. We are making amazing progress on line and on mobile, demonstrated just this month by our success on the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) newsstand. We have the pieces in place to achieve sustainable growth in all our core verticals.”

  • In the 2010 year, Spring’s salary was £400,000 ($638926.49), Bowman’s was £246,000 ($392939.79).
  • Spring also had a £160,000 ($255570.59) performance-related bonus, Bowman £39,000. ($62295.33)
  • They took a combined £21,000 ($33543.64) in non-cash benefits.

In other words, Future can shave off nearly a million pounds in costs.

The exits of the company’s global toppers dovetail with Future’s recent announcement that “the board is now considering a wider range of strategic options in respect of its US operations.

Future’s American newsstand sales have been declining faster in what is a print magazine market suffering accelerated decline compared with Europe. Earlier, in July, it said it would more quickly turn the whole of its U.S. business digital-only, within 12 to 15 months, but is now examining more radical options.

Future U.S. publishes games, tech, music and lifestyle titles including Guitar World, Knitting Today and Maximum PC.

Spring has led Future from publishing only popular printed magazines to operate thematic web portals and, lately, launching utilitarian smartphone apps and tablet editions, which helped the company generate its first ever digital profit this year.

Update: Spring is also stepping down as Periodical Publishers Association vice chair (release). Mark Wood says he won’t sell the U.S. division but will more closely integrate it with the UK.