Condé Nast has tapped Jim Norton to the newly-created position of chief business officer and president of revenue.
Norton’s hire comes as Edward Menicheschi, chief marketing officer and president of the Condé Nast Media Group, is leaving the company, as previously reported by WWD. Condé Nast did not return calls, but it is said that the Condé veteran left the company because he did not want to report to Norton. Condé veteran, Jill Bright, chief administrative officer, is also out in the shuffle. Bright joined Condé Nast in 1993 and worked in its human resources department. She was appointed chief administrative officer in 2010, and had been working on licensing deals for the publisher.
WWD obtained a memo sent by Condé Nast president and chief executive officer Bob Sauerberg confirming both departures.
“As a result of today’s announcement, Jill Bright and Edward Menicheschi will be leaving Condé Nast after decades of distinguished service,” Sauerberg said. “Over the years, and in several different roles and divisions, they both made countless contributions to our company.”
Menicheschi began his career at Condé Nast in 1984 as a fashion marketing manager at GQ. He worked his way up to become president of Fairchild Fashion Media, which owned WWD and Footwear News. (It was later sold to Penske Media Corp. in 2014). The executive served as vice president and publisher of Vanity Fair from 2006-2014 before ascending to his most recent role. Under his purview, he developed 23 Stories, the company’s sponsored content unit.
In the new job, Norton will oversee all revenue operations for the company’s 22 titles. Norton comes to Condé Nast from AOL, where he led global media sales for the past seven years. Based in New York, the appointment takes effect on October 17 and Norton will report to Sauerberg.
“By organizing the company’s numerous revenue operations under Jim, Condé Nast will be well positioned to quickly respond to the dynamic marketplace and our clients’ needs,” said Sauerberg. “Jim brings a great understanding of the complexities of running a massive sales enterprise and the importance of data-led sales products to maximize our effectiveness. His digital and video media expertise, vast relationships with top global advertisers and commitment to business innovation, will be instrumental in our continued transformation into a next generation multi-media company.”
“I am excited to work with the creative, award-winning talent at Condé Nast and to harness the power of their brands for clients,” said Norton. “Condé Nast is second-to-none with its unique combination of premium brands, upscale audiences, rich data and branded content solutions. In every audience segment – food, fashion, beauty, design, culture, entertainment, technology and news, among others – Condé Nast is a category leader, and the potential to craft innovative, cross-portfolio marketing partnerships is limitless.”
Norton is an industry veteran with more than 25 years experience in media sales and marketing. In his most recent role at AOL, he managed the global media sales team responsible for selling digital content media to advertising agencies and global businesses, with a team of more than 1,500, Condé Nast said. He played a role in the sale of AOL to Verizon and the “recently announced intention to acquire Yahoo,” the company said. Since joining AOL in 2009, Norton held additional senior roles in product sales, managed AOL’s search and sponsored listings business, and AOL’s search and sponsored listings business, and helped launch AOL’s Global Agency Holding Company team.
Prior to AOL, Norton spent three years at Google, where he was the national sales manager for Google’s Agency Activation Team. Before that, he spent many years working in traditional media focused on both local and national advertisers. As part of his new job, Norton will work with 23 Stories, the unit started and developed by Menicheschi.
The departure of Menicheschi and Bright from the company signals a larger changing of the guard in a sense. Always known to be a Sauerberg protégé of sorts, Menicheschi leaving Condé sends a signal to other employees at One World Trade that a larger shakeup is coming. As for Bright, she had always been seen as part of former ceo and current chairman Charles Townsend‘s team, stirring speculation over his potential retirement.
The company is said to be in the process of making a large slash in budgets, which will reduce its publishing staff. WWD reported last month that the publisher hired MediaLink to advise on its reorganization.
Sources said more executive changes will likely roll out soon.