On the afternoon of June 1, Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer met with Hewlett-Packard chief executive Mark Hurd to discuss the company’s latest ventures, as he does with a lot of captains of industry.
But Mr. Serwer, by his account, couldn’t resist mentioning Fortune’s most recent issue, which delves back into the H.P. pretexting scandal.
The cover reads: “Uh-Oh! Another Bizarre Legal Battle at HP.”
“Mr. Hurd said, ‘I didn’t like it at all. I didn’t think it was the kind of thing that Fortune does,’” recalled Mr. Serwer, a few minutes after the technology executive left the 15th floor of the Time-Life Building.
Mr. Serwer, a Fortune lifer, has been at the magazine’s helm since Oct. 31, after being tapped by Time Inc. editor in chief (and former Fortune managing editor) John Huey.
“I sort of looked at the first six months as a period where I would get grounded and get to know the ropes,” said Mr. Serwer, seated at a round table in his corner office not far from a small bust of Henry Luce.
“Even though I’ve been here for over 20 years,” he continued, “being the editor of the magazine is very different.”
Of course, Mr. Serwer has made incremental changes throughout the past six months, but it’s been during the past two weeks that he’s completed several high-profile editorial moves, as reported in the New York Post.
Not to mention that he’s currently gearing up the magazine for a major redesign—the first in over 10 years.
Recently, both Newsweek columnist Allan Sloan and Slate writer Dan Gross—“a pair of aces,” according to Mr. Serwer—were reported to be joining the magazine. (That is, until Mr. Gross changed his mind and took Mr. Sloan’s previous gig.)
Mr. Serwer also hired a new design director, Bob Perino, who had performed the job on an interim basis.
On June 4, Peter Gumbel left Time to become Fortune’s Europe editor. Mr. Serwer said that his new Paris-based editor understands “billionaires, intrigue, wealthy people on the move [and] great yarns.”