Bonnier Architect Sara Öhrvall Leaving U.S.

Sara Öhrvall, the architect of Bonnier Corp.’s digital magazine development and its point person for Apple, is returning to company headquarters in Sweden in March.
Öhrvall, svp of research and development for Bonnier, has spent the past two years setting up an R&D unit in the U.S. and developing Mag+, Bonnier’s major publishing platform for tablets.
Mag+, distinguished by its silent mode, fluid navigation style and heavily designed pages, was meant to be implemented across Bonnier. Three of its U.S. titles used Mag+ to launch their iPad editions, including Popular Science. But some insiders said Mag+ wasn’t adopted as widely as initially hoped, as some smaller titles went with a variation that required less design work, Mag+ Light.
Öhrvall said her stay was never intended to be permanent and that her leaving had nothing to do with the mixed response to Mag+.
“That was the plan from the beginning,” she said. “We decided to be here because we needed to be closer to technology, and we will keep that office.”
At some point, the company will likely consolidate its tablet publishing approaches, Öhrvall said.

“For most publications, there will be a need for solutions that are easier [and] that require less design,” she said. “I would not call that a tension, but an organizational decision. You could argue it would probably be more efficient if everyone was on the same solution, but it doesn’t work like that.”
Öhrvall said she would continue to oversee U.S. digital magazine development, returning to the U.S. once a month.

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