Was Chubb’s Exit From Condé Really Voluntary?

After a reorganization that diminished the size of her department last fall, Condé Nast Digital President Sarah Chubb is on her way out. The company insists her exit was voluntary, but some insiders tell Adweek they believe she was fired, or at the very least pushed towards the door.
Chubb, who led the company’s digital strategy since 1996, has been with the company 20 years. She hasn’t specified any immediate plans.
“This really was my move,” Chubb told Adweek by e-mail. “I have loved my time here, and everyone has been tremendous to me. . . . But I have been here for a long time and I decided I needed to push myself out; this might make no sense, but I worry when I feel that I might be too comfortable.”
Senior Condé Nast sources have disputed that official story.
“I think she was gently nudged,” one insider said. “I think the writing was on the wall. With all the integration stuff that happened, they took a lot of stuff away from her.”
Over the years, the destination site strategy that had been created during Chubb’s tenure was deemphasized in favor of magazine companion sites. And four months ago, her oversight was scaled back when Condé Nast said that responsibility for ad sales for the magazine Web sites would be moved out of her division and given to the individual publishers.
The company also recently named its first point person, Andrew Siegel, to head up acquisitions, another area that had fallen in part under her division.
“Sarah has been a transformational force at Condé Nast and the media business as a whole,” president Bob Sauerberg said in a company memo.
Condé said it expects to name Chubb’s replacement in the coming weeks.