Kotok succeeds current ceo Hubert Boehle, who is leaving the company after 30 years. Boehle served as president since 1994 and ceo since 2005.
Kotok comes to Bauer from product review affiliate web business The Wirecutter, where he served as president. He began his career at Dennis Publishing, launching Maxim.com and Maxim Books before being appointed president of The Week in 2007. Kotok was promoted to ceo of the company in 2010 and led the acquisition of print and digital knowledge brand Mental Floss in 2011. (Last week, Mental Floss shuttered its print magazine).
Bauer executive board member Andreas Schoo said of the hire: “Steven’s extensive magazine and digital publishing experience means he is the ideal person to lead our U.S. operations and drive its next phase of growth. We are delighted he is bringing that knowledge and his leadership skills to Bauer at this important time for the business.”
Kotok offered: “I look forward to joining Bauer Media and working with its talented team as it continues to deliver outstanding editorial products for consumers and more opportunities for commercial partners to engage with them.”
According to Bauer, Boehle decided to leave the company to “pursue other opportunities.”
Boehle joined the group’s Hamburg, Germany-based parent company Bauer Media in 1986. Three years later, he moved to work on the company’s U.S. operations where he helped build its titles, including Woman’s World, First for Women, InTouch, Life & Style, Closer and J-14.
But like many of its print counterparts, those magazines have been squeezed, in the face of steep declines at the newsstand and in subscriptions. The transition to the digital world has also been difficult, especially in view of the rapid expansion of competing digital properties in the celebrity tabloid space.
The company said that in order to ensure a smooth transition, Boehle will remain at the company until the end of December.
Bauer Media Group ceo Yvonne Bauer said: “I would like to thank Hubert for his outstanding achievements and more than three decades with Bauer. He was instrumental in developing our business in the U.S. and I wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”