STEELE TO EXIT: Condé Nast has laid off another senior vice president from its communications office. Patricia Steele, who held the title of senior vice president, corporate media relations, is departing Friday. Her last bit of business with the company was to write a press release Wednesday unveiling a new Condé-branded e-commerce site.
Steele’s immediate supervisor Patricia Röckenwagner, senior vice president of corporate communications, informed her on Friday that she had been let go after a little over two years with the company. Steele will be following out the door Nancy Maloney, whose formal title was director of corporate communications technology, and who resigned in April.
This story first appeared in the May 6, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Steele’s departure stems from a reorganization of Condé’s publicity department — which falls under the purview of Jill Bright, chief administrative officer since 2010 — that began last October. At that time, two senior executives were let go amid company-wide layoffs. Steele survived, and her responsibilities shifted from corporate-wide communications strategy to media relations. Röckenwagner joined in February.
Public relations were once centralized at Condé Nast when they were headed by Maurie Perl and all the magazines’ publicists reported to her. When Bright was promoted, she restructured the department so that publicists would report directly to editors in chief and publishers. Perl’s role diminished; she eventually was appointed senior vice president of media and communications of Condé Nast Entertainment in April 2012. Perl left the company in January.
It is not clear if Steele will be replaced or if Röckenwagner will inherit her remaining responsibilities. Steele declined comment. Röckenwagner was traveling and could not be reached.