The publishing world got an end-of-the-workweek surprise today when Wired announced that editor in chief Chris Anderson in stepping down after 11 years on the job. Anderson is leaving Wired at the end of the year to become the full-time CEO of 3D Robotics, a company he co-founded in 2009.
Now, the hunt is on for Anderson’s successor. While Wired wouldn’t comment on where it is in the search process, media industry types are already beginning to speculate about who could fill Anderson’s shoes. One name being tossed around is Scott Dadich, vp of editorial platforms and design at Wired parent Condé Nast. As Wired’s creative director from 2006 to 2010, Dadich spearheaded the launch of the magazine’s industry-leading iPad app, and has reportedly expressed an interest in moving back to the editorial side.
Another name that's come up is that of Bob Cohn, currently the editorial director of Atlantic Digital, as a possible replacement for Anderson. Cohn was the executive editor of Wired from 2001 to 2008, during which time the magazine won three National Magazine Awards.
A longer shot might be Gary Wolf, one of Wired's contributing editors and author of the 2003 book Wired: A Romance, which provided an inside look at the magazine's rise. Wolf is also the co-founder of the Quantified Self movement, which encourages people to apply data-tracking to their own lives as a means of self improvement.
In an internal memo to Wired staffers, Anderson wrote, “This is an opportunity for me to pursue an entrepreneurial dream…I’m confident that Wired’s mission to influence and chronicle the digital revolution is stronger than ever and will continue to expand and evolve.”
Wired vp and publisher Howard Mittman, in a separate email, praised Anderson for navigating the magazine through "the 'Dot Bomb' of 2001" and added that the editor's "imprint on this brand and his mantra of 'change is good, more change is better' has never been more true than it is right now."