Ending weeks of speculation about who it would name to fill the leadership void at its Elle Group, Hachette Filipacchi Media has hired Robin Domeniconi as svp, chief brand officer of the fashion unit.
Domeniconi replaces Carol Smith, who recently dealt a blow to Hachette when she defected to rival Condé Nast for a newly created position overseeing the Bon Appétit and Gourmet brands.
Hachette recently has also lost two other senior executives, consumer marketing chief Tom Masterson and longtime communications chief Anne Janas.
In an unusual move for a media executive, Domeniconi is leaving a big digital job for one in print. She was vp, U.S. advertising sales, marketing and publishing at Microsoft. Her print roots run deep, though; she started in the print world, eventually becoming president of Time Inc.’s Media Group, overseeing corporate sales and marketing.
In an interview, Domeniconi said she would seek to extend Elle’s brand deeper into other platforms like digital and retail. While she declined to be specific, she cited Glo, the new women’s site from Hachette and Microsoft’s MSN, as an example of the direction she might be heading in.
Domeniconi said brands like Elle have an opportunity to harness their connection with readers on a broader scale.
“Brands offline have an emotional connection with readers, and I do believe there has been a lack of ability to connect offline emotional connections with online,” she said.
Domeniconi starts in her new position on July 5 and will oversee Elle and the smaller Elle Decor and ElleGirl brands. Domeniconi will hire a vp, brand publisher for Elle in the coming weeks.