Vogue publisher Condé Nast has initiated a wholesale restructure of its leadership team and organisation structure, leaving it with a more cohesive, global offering to support its “evolution into a 21st century media company”.
As part of the overhaul, Condé Nast and Condé Nast International (the arm of the publisher responsible for business outside America) have merged under a “unified global team”.
This long-anticipated new-look Condé Nast will be focused on preserving the editorial voice and authority of its many titles as well as better serving the global needs of clients. As such, the company’s ad and commercial sales functions will also be brought together under a single structure, which Condé says will let teams more easily share capabilities and best practices.
The changes come just four months after the business hired Roger Lynch as its first global chief exec, taking over the reins from Bob Sauerberg with a remit to run the company as a global media entity instead of two separate divisions.
“One of my top priorities has been to define our organizational structure so that we can take full advantage of our unique growth opportunities and exceptional content around the world," Lynch said of the shakeup.
"I'm confident that our new global structure will better enable us to collaborate across teams and markets and, ultimately, deliver unparalleled experiences for our consumers and clients."
He said that transforming its sales unit into a single global team would leave the Vanity Fair owner “better positioned to serve the holistic needs” of its clients around the world and “make it easier for them to do business with us.”
Hunt begins for CMO to lead direct-to-consumer unit
On top of this, Condé is to invest more heavily in its direct-to-consumer (DTC) efforts and build a new consumer marketing function that will be charged with “developing best-in-class subscription and membership capabilities”. It’s on the hunt for a group chief marketing officer to lead this division, which will also oversee global brand management, research and global audience development.
The sweeping changes come as Condé looks to adapt its business model to combat decreasing print advertising dollars and newsstand sales. It will be hoping a unified, globally-focused approach will help it pool resources to better serve clients and help them engage with the 164 million readers it claims to have across its 18 titles.
In the UK, the publisher recently posted strong financial results with a pre-tax profit of £2.7m in 2018 following a loss of £13.5m the year before. The growth was put down to strong digital revenues and growth across online brands like British Vogue under the stewardship of editor Edward Enninful.
In its UK HQ Vogue House, the publisher also recently set up an advertising agency and brand consultancy in a bid to take a bigger slice of the luxury market and generate fresh revenue streams.
In the US, the firm's most recent filing from 2017 revealed loses of $120m, which it is looking to stave off by selling titles like Brides, Golf Digest and W.
Who’s who at the new Condé Nast?
The publisher has made several changes at the top table to support its operational overhaul.
Wolfgang Blau, who was promoted to chief operating officer and president of the international arm in 2017, will continue to oversee all non-US markets (including Britain, China, Spain, Japan and the Middle East) but will now oversee select global strategic functions too – such as global editorial operations, product, technology, data and business transformation.
Leading the freshly united sales and ad division will be global chief revenue officer and president US revenue Pamela Ducker Mann. Mann will oversee the company’s US and international ad sales, as well as its creative, agency, B2B marketing and client service units.
Jamie Jouning, meanwhile, has been promoted from chief revenue officer, international to chief client officer. He will report to Drucker Mann, and oversee key global accounts, multi-market deals and central digital ad operations.
Condé stalwart Anna Wintour will remain as US artistic director and editor in chief of Vogue US but will add global content advisor and oversight of Vogue International to her responsibilities. Wintour will advise the exec leadership team on global content opportunities, as well as acting as a resource to editors-in-chief worldwide.
Oren Katzeff, president of Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE), will expand the company’s digital video, film and television operations worldwide.
The company has been increasing its focus on video content and currently generates 1.1bn video views per month. Under Oren's leadership, CNE will now be at “the core” of Condé’s global network of video teams, supporting the growth of its video businesses in all markets.