LONDON — Sophia Liao, president of Condé Nast China, exited the company on Wednesday, multiple sources told WWD.
She joined Condé Nast China in June 2017 to succeed Liz Schimel, who at the time cited her departure for personal reasons. Liao made some drastic changes during her tenure, including shuttering the Chinese edition of Self, and appointing Paco Tang publisher at GQ China, the most profitable GQ edition worldwide, and later promoting him to group publisher to expand his commercial responsibility to Vogue and Condé Nast Traveller.
Despite commercial success, Liao’s management style has been controversial. Many high-profile editors and publishers, who have been with the subsidiary since Condé Nast established it, have been pushed out or resigned since her arrival. They include publisher Ella Wong; two editorial directors — Feng Wang and Ming Zeng — and two fashion directors — Dan Cui, Anson Chen — at GQ China, and two publishers — Anita Chang and Baojian Li; deputy publisher Shuang Tang, and fashion director Candy Lee at Vogue China.
A veteran of the company, Liao worked at Condé Nast Taiwan for 16 years. She joined the company as an accountant and served as an operating director when she left the company in 2012.
Neither Condé Nast China nor Liao immediately responded to a request for comment on her departure. A successor has not yet been named.