In a memo to staffers, global chief revenue officer Pamela Drucker Mann said Chis Mitchell, chief business officer for culture-driven titles such as Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Wired, is leaving the company. Mitchell has been in the chief business officer role for more than two years, but with Condé for almost 20 years in business roles across the same titles he led under the culture division, along with stints at GQ and Condé Nast Traveler.
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Mitchell is set to stay on through the end of the year and Drucker Mann wished him “the best going forward.”
Taking over Mitchell’s role is Eric Gillin, who is moving from leadership of the lifestyle division (Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, Self) to the culture division. Save for Vanity Fair, which will now fall under the oversight of Susan Plagemann, who leads the luxury group, including Vogue and GQ. Whether Vanity Fair’s move on the selling side will result in a change to its look or editorial output remains to be seen, but Plagemann did work solely for Vogue for nearly a decade.
Replacing Gillin as chief business officer of the lifestyle group is Jen Mormile, who has been chief industry officer since 2017. In her memo, Drucker Mann said Mormile “built our burgeoning health business from the ground up and then continued her success leading sales at the lifestyle division.” She added that lifestyle division sales is set to beat a year-end goal by 3 percent.
In addition, chief business officer of advertising revenue Craig Kostelic is adding “direct leadership” of Condé’s culture and lifestyle titles, while continuing to do so for digital teams. Taly Yaniv, heading up global client services, will take on the U.S. and work directly with finance and media strategy teams. “These moves will help us be more nimble in bringing solutions to our clients and allow us to better align our organization,” Drucker Mann wrote.
“As we come together as one global team, we have a significant opportunity to help reinforce our company’s position as an industry leader,” she added.
Since Lynch came in early this year, he has made steady alterations to the corporate structure of the company as he works to combine the U.S. and international operations. First came an additional title for Anna Wintour and a reiteration of David Remnick’s place at The New Yorker, alongside a few other title changes for some, but the reworking of division leaders and the exit of Mitchell is a bit more dramatic.
Over the summer, Lynch also gave a presentation to Condé’s entire staff, apparently working to bring a more communicative style than his predecessor Bob Sauerberg. In a video of the meeting reviewed by WWD, Lynch said video could eventually be a $1 billion business for the publisher, but that it was unlikely to meet this year internal revenue goals, but that the second half of the year should see a return to profitability.
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