Condé Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg to Step Down Amid Restructuring

He will remain in the position until a replacement is hired

Bob Sauerberg will step down as Condé Nast CEO. Getty Images

Condé Nast and Condé Nast International will combine and be overseen by a newly created CEO position to lead the “new” Condé Nast.

Current Condé Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg will step down amid his aggressive five-year plan to generate $600 million in new revenue for the company. His counterpart at Condé Nast International, CEO Jonathan Newhouse, will give up the position and become chairman of the board of directors after the global CEO is hired.

Sauerberg’s plan for Condé Nast and its portfolio of brands of relying less on advertising dollars and introducing new revenue streams—such as leaning further into video, expanding digitally and holding events—is in place and will continue.

Sauerberg will stay in his position until the search for a global CEO is complete, anticipated to last three to six months. After that he’ll leave “to pursue other opportunities,” including representing Advance Publications on Reddit’s board, said Jonathan Newhouse and Steve Newhouse on behalf of the Condé Nast board of directors in a company-wide email.

Advance Publications, owned by the Newhouse family, is the parent company of Condé Nast and Condé Nast International. Advance is the majority shareholder of Reddit, an independent company.

Other top-level executives, such as Wolfgang Blau, president of Condé Nast International, will retain their position. The newly combined company will have headquarters in New York and London, their email said.

“What has become clear is that our aspirations are no longer best served by our historical structure of running two separate companies,” they said in the email. They continued, “We have concluded that the time is right for us to combine our U.S. and international companies to realize the full potential of Condé Nast for our audiences and our business partners.”

Sauerberg has been at Condé Nast for 18 years and served as CEO since January 2016. The Newhouses credited him with launching Condé Nast Entertainment, Condé Nast’s video production and distribution studio, and for earning the company National Magazine Awards, five Pulitzer prizes and an Emmy award.

“We are truly grateful to Bob for all his significant accomplishments and for his willingness to lead the company through the transition,” according to the email.

It’s been a tumultuous year for Condé Nast, including layoffs, reorganizing its ad sales team and a wave of top talent leaving, including Teen Vogue and them chief content officer Phillip Picardi, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive, Condé Nast Entertainment president Dawn Ostroff and chief experience officer Josh Stinchcomb.

Condé Nast has also made dramatic changes to some brands in its wide-ranging portfolio, including seeking buyers for three titles—W, Brides and Golf Digest—and deciding to more or less eliminate printing another one of its titles, Glamour magazine.

It’s unclear whether more layoffs will come after the companies are combined, but no other changes to the brands are planned at this time.

@SaraJerde Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.