Condé Nast named Bob Sauerberg its new CEO effective January 1, 2016, current CEO Chuck Townsend wrote in a memo to staff on Sunday.
Sauerberg has been president of the publishing company for five years; Townsend will shift over to chairman of the company, Politico‘s Alex Weprin reported. The changes were strategically planned over the course of two years, Townsend said.
“[Sauerberg’s] vision for the future of Conde Nast includes exponential digital revenue growth, while continuing to dominate premium print content creation and award-winning journalism,” Townsend wrote to staff. “It is a growth based strategy that is built on our unique reputation and powerful brand development across all platforms available to us.”
In January, Townsend said he had no plans to step down and had planned to finish out the two years left on his contract — but obviously reversed course.
Last year, the company saw rapid-fire departures of its CFO, editorial director, chief revenue officer and chief technology officer in a series of months.
Townsend’s full memo below.
Following two years of carefully staged succession planning, I am pleased to announce that Bob Sauerberg, President of Condé Nast for the last five years, will succeed me as Chief Executive Officer of the Company effective January 1, 2016.
I am delighted to be able to continue my 22-year relationship with Condé Nast as Chairman, with S.I. Newhouse Jr. becoming Chairman Emeritus.
We have had the privilege of beginning the Company’s critical transition from the world’s most prominent magazine publisher, to a multi-platform media company during my later years as CEO, and Bob has always been right at my side, leading the way into digital audience and revenue growth, while celebrating our remarkable accomplishments in magazine publishing, journalism and revenue generation.
His vision for the future of Conde Nast includes exponential digital revenue growth, while continuing to dominate premium print content creation and award-winning journalism. It is a growth based strategy that is built on our unique reputation and powerful brand development across all platforms available to us.
It is a celebratory moment in the history of Condé Nast, carefully thought through and unfolding on schedule. Bob and I will continue to work closely together as we enter a time filled with opportunities for growth. I am convinced that Condé Nast’s best days are ahead of it.
Please join me in congratulating Bob in his new role.