MODEL CITIZEN: Bill Wackermann, the former publisher of Condé Nast Traveler, has been named chief executive officer of Wilhelmina International Inc.
A Condé Nast veteran who spent more than 20 years at the company in various publisher roles at Glamour, Traveler, W, Details, Bon Appétit and Brides, Wackermann joined Wilhelmina on Tuesday.
He succeeds former ceo Alex Vaickus, who has stepped down.
Wackermann told WWD that his background working in fashion, luxury and beauty make him a natural fit for the job even though he has never held a ceo role.
“If you think about the worlds that models live in, it’s editorial and working with editors,” he said. “And advertising plays an important role. Who books the campaigns?”
Wackermann pointed to his connections with editors, advertisers, marketers, photographers and stylists, offering: “It’s all symbiotic. This industry is all about relationships.”
“There’s an opportunity at Wilhelmina to create opportunity for our talent,” he said, explaining that the agency is in the “business of fulfilling dreams” for young models and entertainers.
Mark Schwarz, executive chairman of Wilhelmina International, agreed, touting Wackermann’s fashion and beauty expertise, adding: “We have a shared vision for the future of the agency. Bill’s proven track record and drive will bring fresh perspective to our growth initiatives.”
When asked what his biggest challenge may be, the new ceo said: “Wilhelmina is a publicly-traded company. Coming from a privately-held company, there will be a learning curve.”
He was of course referring to Securities and Exchange Commission fillings and public disclosures.
For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, Wilhelmina posted total revenues of $21.8 million, up 9.4 percent over last year. Net income for the quarter rose 98.5 percent to $6.7 million, or 11 cents a diluted share.