Major Shakeups at Condé Nast

by Eddie Roche

None of this comes as a huge shocker, but Condé Nast announced major shakeups on their business side today. Allure’Agnes Chapski, Brides’ Michelle Myers, and Glamour’Connie Anne Phillips are out, and many publishers will be taking on multiple titles as the company shifts its revenue teams. Condé passed on an internal memo to staffers from chief business officer and president of revenue Jim Norton. Read the full memo, below: 

From: Norton, Jim
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2017 4:37 PM
To: Condé Nast All
Subject: Business Team Announcement

Team –

As the market shifts back to premium content, trusted journalism and engaging storytelling, our company has never been better positioned to be of service to our constituents – both consumers and clients – and win in the marketplace.  I’ve been consistently pleased and amazed at our partners’ enthusiasm to strike deeper relationships with Condé Nast, and because of our iconic brands, our unending commitment to premium content and the innovation of our teams, we have permission from the market to be a world-class, tier one partner.

To truly set our company up for success and take advantage of this potential, we’re modernizing our revenue teams to simplify the way we work with our partners and better leverage the extraordinary talent in our company.  Today, I’m announcing a new business leadership team and a contemporary revenue structure, creating a nimble organization that will be responsive to the specific needs of our clients.  This team will be oriented around two areas – brand collections and the client industries important to Condé Nast’s growth – further explained below.

When we clustered Bon Appétit and Epicurious, and established the Food Innovation Group, we created a division that immediately had scale and drove product development and creativity, dramatically increasing revenue.  Following that same model of success, we’re combining our businesses in strategic ways to create new brand collections.  Our brands will continue to be at the center of our company, and by organizing them this way, we can be faster to market and more responsive to our clients.

Our key sales leadership at the collections will hold the newly created title of Chief Business Officers and, in addition to their responsibilities for revenue, they will work directly with clients, as well as their colleagues on the industry team, to bring new and innovative solutions to market that leverage and grow the heritage of our great brands.  The collections will be assembled as follows:

–          Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler and the Food Innovation Group (Bon Appétit and Epicurious), will be overseen by Giulio Capua.

–          Glamour, Allure, Brides, Teen Vogue and Self will be run by Kim Kelleher.

–          Vanity Fair and will be led by Chris Mitchell.

–          GQ, GQ StyleGolf Digest and Golf World, the Wired Media Group (Wired, Ars Technica and Backchannel) and Pitchfork will be headed by Howard Mittman.

–          Both Vogue and The New Yorker will remain standalones, run by Susan Plagemann and Lisa Hughes, respectively.

Additionally, we have two critical new roles that will be working across our company and in concert with the Industry and Business Officers to enhance our position in the market, drive new revenue opportunities and provide customized client solutions:

Pamela Drucker Mann is taking on the role of Chief Marketing Officer for the company, and will establish a coordinated business-to-business marketing function across the company.  Pam will work closely with both the Industry and Business leadership to position Condé Nast in the marketplace, package and promote our products and capabilities, and shape our go-to-market strategies.

Josh Stinchcomb will be our new Chief Experience Officer, overseeing our integrated marketing solutions agency, which includes 23 Stories, the strategic packaging of all ad and data products and leading the investment and creation of a new events and experiences business.  Additionally, Josh will oversee our licensing team and art and archive departments.  Josh will also work with our Business Officers to develop new revenue streams and solutions for our clients.

On the client industries level, which will manage our relationships with our industry clients, we are restructuring the revenue function.  This new structure replaces the Condé Nast Media Group (CNMG) and corporate team, as the leaders will work across the company and in tandem with all the brand collections as follows:

Lisa Valentino will be named Chief Revenue Officer, Industry & Agency and will head an effort which focuses on accelerating our revenue growth inside industries, strengthening our relationships with large agency partners to generate new models, and continuing to grow our data and programmatic efforts.  She will also work closely with the business officers to offer our industry clients solutions that encompass the world-class innovation and creativity they expect from us.

Lisa will oversee our newly appointed Chief Industry Officers, who bring their deep expertise and relationships to lead ad sales efforts across the portfolio, with a distinct focus by category.  Our Chief Industry Officers will work closely with our Chief Business Officers on both client strategy and business opportunities:

o   Auto – Tracey Baldwin

o   Media and Entertainment, Retail and Travel – Mike Fisher

o   Telco, Tech, Business and Finance – Chris Gibbons

o   Beauty – Lucy Kriz

o   Fashion/Luxury – Brendan Monaghan

o   Pharma – Jen Mormile

o   The Food and Beverage and Spirits Industry Officer will be announced shortly

o   Additionally, an industry team will be assembled to focus on the global agency holding company community

All of these changes apply to the business sides of the brands.  Editorial teams will continue to operate independently and the brands will retain their unique and differentiated voices.  In addition, Consumer Marketing will continue to be led by Monica Ray as we capitalize on the great momentum that team has generated.

As a result of today’s changes, Agnes ChapskiMichelle Myers and Connie Ann Phillips will be leaving Condé Nast.  Please join me in thanking them for their years of service and many contributions to the company.

Over the next several weeks, we will be working closely with the new business leadership team on the transition to our new structure, and we will be communicating more details and next steps soon.  I’m sure many of you on the business side have questions, and we’ll be answering them when we get together at the all hands Business Update Meeting next week.

It is the role of our business teams to enable our talented editorial groups to create the most provocative, engaging and exceptional content.  Our new structure, as one team, will allow us to be more responsive and dynamic in our approach as we take our storied brands to new platforms and new audiences.

I’m looking forward to a strong and successful 2017 and much more to come.

Jim Norton

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