Refinery29 Names Simone Oliver Global Editor-in-Chief

The appointment comes after co-founder Christine Barberich left the role to “help diversify” leadership in June

Simone Oliver has been named global editor-in-chief of Refinery 29.

The appointment comes after co-founder Christine Barberich left the role to “help diversify” leadership in June.

Refinery29 announced Wednesday Oliver, a “digital pioneer and thought leader,” will take over the position Sept. 30.

“I’m so excited to join a brand that is dedicated to providing women a platform for their stories and knows their audience, because they truly show up for them,” said a Wednesday statement from Oliver, who previously spent 13 years in various editorial and strategy positions at the New York Times and served as Allure’s digital director. Most recently, she led work with lifestyle publishers and magazines at Facebook and Instagram Global Media Partnerships.

She went on, “I’ve been a loyal reader of Refinery29 content since its early days, and at a pivotal time when strong voices are necessary and the values they reflect are crucial, I’m thrilled to lead this next phase of its evolution.” 

“Simone is a powerhouse media leader, strong visionary, and a storyteller at heart,” said Nancy Dubuc, CEO of Refinery29’s parent company, Vice Media Group. “As Refinery29 continues to be a vital megaphone for young women’s stories and experiences, her forward-thinking approach to content and strategic media expertise comes at a pivotal time for this powerful generation.”

Barberich stepped down in June, writing on Instagram, “I’d like to start by saying that I’ve read and taken in the raw and personal accounts of Black women and women of color regarding their experiences inside our company at Refinery29. And, what’s clear from these experiences, is that R29 has to change. We have to do better, and that starts with making room. And, so I will be stepping aside in my role at R29 to help diversify our leadership in editorial and ensure this brand and the people it touches can spark a new defining chapter.”

The week before, Black former employees of the company spoke out about its lack of diversity with support from the R29 Union.