Conde Nast Gets New Prez, Digital Push

Robert A. Sauerberg

One of the largest magazine publishers in the world is poised to begin a major strategic reorganization, beginning with a number of moves and new responsibilities in its top management. Conde Nast -- which publishes Vogue, Vanity Fair, Wired, and The New Yorker -- will be realigned to give it a renewed focus on digital media, including speedier deployment of new technologies, as well as broader contact with consumers loyal to its magazine brands.

Starting at the top, CEO Charles H. Townsend is relinquishing his role as president to Robert A. Sauerberg, who formerly served as group president of consumer marketing and will now oversee all the company's business activities.

Sauerberg's chief mission is moving the company to a new business model focused around digital connectivity, technology development and consumer insights. To this end, Sauerberg will integrate corporate resources to support brand development, in part by extending the reach of content and improving the company's speed to market.

The news of Sauerberg's appointment comes not long after two other presidential hopefuls, David Carey and Tom Florio, left the company. Townsend, who was named president and CEO of Conde Nast in 2004, will continue to serve as CEO.

As part of the reorganization, COO John Bellando is also assuming the CFO title, overseeing corporate fiduciary matters for Condé Nast, Fairchild Fashion Group and Parade.

Lou Cona, currently executive vice president of the Condé Nast Media Group, will also take the title of chief marketing officer, where he will be responsible for transforming CNMG into a multimedia, multi-platform sales and marketing service, incorporating print, digital, social, e-commerce, consumer insight and other assets.

Townsend stated: "The historical priorities that have served our company so well -- great content, best-in-class magazines, key client relationships -- remain the cornerstone of what we do, but we need to move beyond the magazine.

"The set of strategic course changes being put in motion today will reorient our organization to thrive in this new world of opportunity, assuring the brightest future for Condé Nast."

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