Jim Nelson, who served as GQ’s editor-in-chief for the past 15 years, is exiting his job, the company said Thursday.
He will be succeeded by Will Welch, the editor-in-chief of GQ Style, the high-end quarterly edition of the magazine.
“Will is responsible for so much of what has propelled GQ forward and has a clear vision for where it will go in the future,” Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast, said in a statement. “He is in an ongoing dialogue with the GQ audience, which has grown substantially in the past few years. His knowledge and keen eye for fashion and design and how to present it in a democratic way is a big part of his success with the reader.”
Nelson, who will step down after the magazine’s Men of the Year Awards in December, is the latest editorial departure at Condé Nast, as the publisher undergoes cost-saving restructuring.
Nelson joined GQ as a senior editor in 1997. According to the magazine’s press release, July 2018 was a record-breaking month for GQ on YouTube, thanks in part to a “Kylie Jenner Asks Travis Scott 23 Questions” post, which clocked an impressive 30 million views.
Across all platforms in July, GQ had 144 million total video views, a 58 percent increase year-over-year, according to the company. The brand also had nearly 14 million unique views to GQ.com and a record high of 27 million visits.
“I’ve been at GQ for 21 years and in this job for more than 15 — a good, long, productive run, not to mention a ton of fun — and I’ve gotten to work with some of the most talented writers, editors, photographers, designers and creative minds in the business,” Nelson said in a statement. “So I leave feeling proud and confident in the excellence of the work we’ve done together, but more than that, grateful.”
Welch joined GQ in May 2007 as an associate editor covering fashion, pop culture and music, the company said. He was promoted to senior editor in 2012, then style editor in 2014, and creative director earlier this year.
“I’m honored to succeed the great Jim Nelson as editor-in-chief of GQ,” said Welch. “To me, GQ will always be synonymous with cutting-edge men’s style and smart, rich storytelling. I think the big opportunity in this environment is to be more daring than ever. I’m excited to surprise and challenge our readers in new ways across GQ’s many formidable platforms.”