Conde Nast decided a summer Friday afternoon would be the perfect time to announce a new president at the company. Bob Sauerberg is becoming the president of Conde Nast, and will be responsible for moving “the company to a new business model focused around digital connectivity, technology development, and consumer insight,” according to a press release.
In other words, Mr. Sauerberg has a very important job now for a company that is quickly trying to figure out how to handle a future that relies less and less on the printed product and printed advertisements. After key Conde Nast business executives departed this year — Tom Florio, Richard Beckman, and, most recently, David Carey — a little corporate reorganization is necessary (we wonder if Conde’s friends at McKinsey had any role in advising this decision; sources have told us that consultants been back in the building in recent weeks). It also gives Mr. Sauerberg the role as a clear no. 2 to Mr. Townsend, the first time since Mr. Townsend was appointed CEO that there has been such corporate organization at Conde Nast. Meanwhile, Louis Cona has been promoted to Chief Marketing Officer, in another bump up the corporate ladder.
Interestingly, all of Conde’s promotions came from within, and it also allows (speculation time!) for a clearer guess at who has the lead in becoming Mr. Townsend’s successor when he finally does decide to step down as CEO.
Here is the full release:
CONDÉ NAST ANNOUNCES SENIOR LEADERSHIP CHANGES AND PLANS FOR GROWTH
ROBERT A. SAUERBERG NAMED PRESIDENT
New York, N.Y., July 23, 2010—Condé Nast is charting a new strategic course as a consumer-centric media and entertainment company in order to accelerate growth, it was announced today by Charles H. Townsend, Chief Executive Officer, of Condé Nast. The company will be realigned to better embrace and harness developing technology; broaden consumer touch points; and create contemporary value propositions for advertisers. To achieve these strategic priorities, several senior leadership changes were announced.
Mr. Townsend will remain C.E.O., with continued responsibility for the entire company, reporting to S.I. Newhouse, Jr., Chairman. He has appointed Robert A. Sauerberg as President of Condé Nast. Mr. Sauerberg, formerly Group President, Consumer Marketing, will work with Mr. Townsend in overseeing the company’s business activities, but his primary responsibility will be to move the company to a new business model focused around digital connectivity, technology development, and consumer insight. He will integrate corporate resources to support brand development initiatives and deliver maximum value to consumers, advertisers and employees.
“The historical priorities that have served our company so well—great content, best-in-class magazines, key client relationships—remain the cornerstone of what we do, but we need to move beyond the magazine,” said Mr. Townsend. “The set of strategic course changes being put in motion today will reorient our organization to thrive in this new world of opportunity, assuring the brightest future for Condé Nast.”
“Having worked closely with Chuck over the last two decades, I’m looking forward to implementing this growth agenda together,” said Mr. Sauerberg. “These new strategies will enhance our innovation, extend the reach of our content and offerings, and improve our speed-to-market.”
With the increased financial management necessary for a growing breadth of products and services, John Bellando will assume the Chief Financial Officer title in addition to his current responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Bellando will oversee the corporate fiduciary responsibilities for Condé Nast, Fairchild Fashion Group and Parade.
Louis Cona, currently Executive Vice President, Condé Nast Media Group (CNMG), will become Chief Marketing Officer. He will engineer the evolution of CNMG into a seamless, multi-media, multi-platform sales and marketing services facility. Mr. Cona will oversee the integration of the company’s print, digital, social, e-commerce, consumer insight and other assets to create comprehensive marketing solutions.
Thomas J. Wallace will continue to play the critical role of Editorial Director, working closely with the creative engine of the company—the editors of Condé Nast’s award-winning magazines—in developing creative brand strategies.
“We’re clear on the vision of where we need to be, and have the right executive team in place to get us there,” Mr. Townsend added. “They are a tried and tested team with the experience, knowledge, and expertise to drive the change necessary to realize our goals.”
Condé Nast, a division of Advance Publications, operates in 25 countries. In the United States,
Condé Nast publishes 18 consumer magazines, two trade publications and 27 websites that
garner international acclaim and unparalleled consumer engagement.