After 13 years with the company, Lynn Picard has resigned from her post as Executive VP/General Manager, Lifetime Television and President, Ad Sales, Lifetime Entertainment Services. The decision was voluntary, according to a spokesperson for the company.
Picard, who joined the company in 1994 as Senior Vice President of ad sales, has been a key member of Lifetime's leadership team, overseeing ad sales and, for a time, interactive efforts. Her name had been floated to ascend to the President/CEO role in both of Lifetime's last executive transitions, but the job ultimately went first to former Turner executive Betty Cohen in 2005 and, when she left earlier this year, to ABC reality chief Andrea Wong.
Picard, highly regarded both inside and outside the company, said in a statement that she was ready to move on to other things. She leaves two days after the company announced a major upfront deal with Group M. Lifetime says it is now more than 70% finished with its upfront sales.
"This was such a difficult decision for me to leave a job that has been a home and colleagues whom I love," said Picard in the statement. "But, there comes a time when you look around and say there’s something you want in your career that you don’t think you can get in your current position and you feel ready for a new challenge."
Lifetime has not yet solidified plans for who, if anyone, will fill Picard's role. For now, senior ad sales duties will fall to Rick Basso, currently senior vice president of pricing and planning, and John Matluck, senior vice president of ad sales.
Picard became EVP/GM for Lifetime Television in June, 2003 and two years later added the title of President, Ad Sales for Lifetime Entertainment Services. She will take time off now to plan her next move, she said.
"Since joining Lifetime 13 years ago, Lynn has made enormous contributions to the growth and success of the company, for which we are very grateful," said Wong in a statement. "Although we understand her decision to leave in order to realize her fullest goals and ambitions, we will all miss the style, panache and intelligence that have made her so beloved and respected at Lifetime and throughout our industry."