John Byrne to Leave BusinessWeek

By Steve Cohn
11/24/2009

John Byrne, BusinessWeek executive editor and businessweek.com editor-in-chief (since July 2005), announced today (Nov. 24) that he will be leaving the magazine with the Dec. 1 expected close of the Bloomberg L.P.‘s acquisition from McGraw-Hill Cos.   Byrne is relocating to San Francisco (where his wife and BW alumna Kate Rodler, is based) with plans to launch a new digital media company.   He follows editor-in-chief (since March 2005) Steve Adler, who announced his resignation several weeks ago and is being succeeded by Time deputy managing editor/time.com managing editor Josh Tyrangiel.

Byrne is a protégé of 1984-2005 BW editor-in-chief Steve Shepard, who hired him in 1985.  Over the next 18 years, Byrne wrote 57 cover stories, with three that turned into books:on (1) 1990s’ PepsiCo.-turned-Apple Computer CEO John Scully; (2) "Chainsaw" Al Dunlap, who tore up Sunbeam in the 1990s; and (3) 1981-2001 General Electric CEO Jack Welch, with 2001’s Straight from the Gut being a best-seller.  Byrne brought in Welch and wife Suzy to write a joint BW column that ended its three-year run with the Bloomberg acquistion.

In 2003, Byrne left BW to become Fast Company editor-in-chief.  Two years later, he helped engineer Joe Mansueto’s purchase of it and Inc. before accepting Adler’s offer to rejoin the magazine that July.

In his staff memo, Byrne thanked Adler for "giving me two very big opportunities," plus managing editors Ciro Scotti and Martin Keohan along with "the highly talented people I’ve been able to work with and learn from over these 22 years."