Condé Nast has announced the first phase of what will likely be an upheaval in the company structure, joining a recent pattern of organizational revamping at Dow Jones and Time Inc.
WWD secured an internal memo from Condé Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg informing staffers that the company was moving forward with unifying the creative (photo and design), research and copy teams across its portfolio of brands, “to unify these functions under new leaders and relocate them together.”
In other words, resources will be shared across Condé Nast’s portfolio of brands in five departments: copy/research teams, editorial, creative, business and technology. Some staffers will be dedicated to a particular brand; others will float across titles.
Employees in copy and research teams, for example, are now consolidated under Vogue executive director of editorial and special projects Christiane Mack, who will now hold the title of head of content, strategy and operations for Condé Nast. The teams will physically move to sit with each other rather than with their specific brands.
Last week, Condé Nast hired Jim Norton as its new chief business officer in an effort to unify all revenue operations under his leadership. Edward Cudahy was also promoted to chief technology officer this week.
While not as aggressive as Time Inc.’s removal of all publisher roles in order to sell advertising based on brand categories, it’s certainly a notable shift for the company.
As we reported this week, The Wall Street Journal is bracing itself for a massive restructuring as well, citing “volatility in the advertising-sales market” as the reason behind the need to undergo significant changes.
In the memo, Sauerberg said Condé Nast’s multiplatform distribution model drives the move to “evolve our legacy culture and structure to reflect this new marketplace and be organized to deliver our content consistently across every platform.”
Sauerberg stressed that the changes will unify the company and “break down the silos that prevent collaboration across our brands.” He also announced the promotion of Raul Martinez as head of the creative group. He will oversee a new creative team made up of all editorial brand creative, art, design and photo teams for each brand, in addition to the creative teams from 23 Stories.
The reorganization is an effort to evolve Condé Nast from a “publishing company” to a “media company.”