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Politico Co-Founder Jim VandeHei, Veteran Mike Allen to Leave News Site

Shakeup include exits of chief revenue officer, chief operating officer and others

Politico, the influential political news site, will lose co-founder Jim VandeHei, leading political columnist Mike Allen and several other key figures later this year, the company’s owner said on Thursday.

Others who will step down include Kim Kingsley, the chief operating officer; Roy Schwartz, the chief revenue officer; and Danielle Jones, an executive vice president.

Susan Glasser, the top Washington editor, will transition to a strategic role with Politico as director of editorial innovation from Jerusalem, where her husband is being transferred.

Publisher and chief owner Robert Albritton told the staff in a memo on Thursday:

“These transitions make perfect sense for the publication, coming a decade (almost to the day) after I recruited them to join this cause. Jim in particular began signaling to me some years ago that he hoped the next stop in his career would be to once again start a new venture. Mike has launched and maintained the Playbook franchise — 365 days a year — longer than seemed humanly possible.”

The mass exit come after reports of tension between VandeHei, named president and CEO in 2013, and Albritton over management and expansion strategies.

The loss of Allen, a unique voice at the publication whose daily Playbook memo is a must-read for political insiders, is also particularly acute.

VandeHei said in his own staff memo that he intended to start a new venture. He and Allen will leave after the presidential election, the others will leave sooner, Albritton said.

The New York Times said the new venture would include Allen and Schwartz, “the chief revenue officer who is credited with helping to build Politico’s innovative business model.”

The site’s other co-founder, John Harris, will stay on, Albritton said, noting his intention to name Harris publisher in addition to editor in chief.