Condé Nast is beginning to put into motion the restructuring plans it laid out in January, WWD has learned.
The New York-based publisher will cut about 100 jobs, or 4 percent of its workforce, which is estimated to total 3,000 employees. The staff reductions will come from the business side, which is comprised of sales and marketing staffers, and will take place in the coming weeks.
This story first appeared in the March 6, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Condé Nast confirmed the impending layoffs.
Earlier this year, chief business officer and president of revenue Jim Norton laid out his vision for the company, which included the recasting of the role of publisher. Before, each magazine had a publisher. Now, magazines, which are known as “brand collections,” will be headed by “chief business officers,” aka “publishers.”
The changes essentially allowed Condé to elevate specific publishers to oversee multiple titles. (Combining titles also means consolidating duplicative jobs).
Publishers who didn’t make the cut were either let go or were moved to new roles called “chief industry officers.” Essentially, those executives would oversee specific categories, such as fashion, entertainment and food, across the company’s various titles. Key executives, such as Pamela Drucker Mann and Josh Stinchcomb, were elevated to the chief marketing officer and chief experience officer, respectively.
With the game plan set on paper, there remained the need to consolidate teams. On Friday, ad sales and marketers began to hear from human resources that their jobs had been eliminated. This process is said to be ongoing until the end of the month.
But this was largely expected. Following the January shakeup, business staffers gathered for a meeting led by Norton, who alerted them that the official transition date of titles would take place on April 3. Norton also fielded questions, which were submitted by employees electronically. (Some insiders said that more pressing questions were said to have “disappeared” from the queue.)
The overall sense in the room at the time was that the newly-promoted chiefs would set their teams and decide who would remain, as many jobs were made duplicative under the new structure.
Late Friday, insiders told WWD that human resources circulated an e-mail to marketing and ad sales employees informing them that new jobs will be posted and that they were encouraged to “apply.” Representatives from HR would connect with them individually about next steps.
The business side restructuring follows a reorganization on the editorial side at the end of last year, which included the combination of the creative, copy and photo teams, as well as the closure of Self magazine in print, among other things.