Condé Nast chief business officer Howard Mittman is leaving Condé Nast following a 12-year stint at the publisher.
A spokesman from Condé Nast confirmed the news and said Mittman’s last day is on August 11. Mittman is said to be departing for a new job as the business-side head at a large, digital-only property.
Those titles will now fall under the purview of Kim Kelleher, chief business officer of the women’s collection, which includes Glamour, Allure, Brides, Teen Vogue and Self. Kelleher, the former publisher of Wired, will take over Mittman’s titles permanently. Kelleher will relinquish her role at the women’s collection once Condé Nast finds her replacement.
The exec’s resignation was surprising to many at the company, as he was seen as a rising star. Mittman had recently been promoted to oversee the men’s titles, which included GQ, GQ Style, Wired, Ars Technica, Backchannel, Golf World and Golf Digest.But lately, there has been a feeling of frustration under Jim Norton, the company’s new chief business officer and president of revenue.
Norton led the restructuring of Condé’s business side earlier this year, which has been met with a critical eye, as it has yet to materialize into any big sales wins for the company. The reorganization changed the original structure of one publisher per magazine title and instituted more of a group-publishing model, in which “chief business officers” would oversee multiple magazines. (The New Yorker and Vogue would retain the old single-publisher model). Certain publishers were also elevated to sell across categories, such as luxury or beauty, and were given the spiffy title of chief industry officer. The changes largely decentralized the advertising selling structure to accommodate a multichannel selling strategy.
On Thursday, when Norton told his team about Mittman’s departure, he also addressed some adjustments in the Industry teams. WWD had previously reported on rumors that changes were coming to the company. A spokesman said Norton’s latest round of tweaks did not result in layoffs but instead a reallocation of resources to chief business officers or brand teams, which had been understaffed. As part of the changes, Chris Mitchell, chief business officer of Vanity Fair and W, will grab the role of chief industry officer of luxury. Brendan Monaghan, who had held that chief industry title, will move to GQ and GQ Style in a high-level chief revenue role, a rep said. It is believed that more changes are likely to come due to Mittman’s departure.