Despite a tough year for Anna Wintour that included rife rumors that she would exit Condé Nast in the summer, she has been promoted to chief content officer, the publisher said Tuesday.
Wintour, one of the highest-paid executives at the company, will also serve as global editorial director of Vogue, while continuing to oversee Vogue U.S., as the publisher looks to streamline its editions after merging U.S. and international operations two years ago and save costs amid the global pandemic that has hit the media industry hard. In a bid to offset a plunge in advertising revenues, Condé Nast laid off staffers, furloughed another 100 and also cut pay, which has since been restored.
“Anna’s appointment represents a pivotal moment for Condé Nast as her ability to stay ahead in connecting with new audiences, while cultivating and mentoring some of today’s brightest talent in the industry, has made her one of media’s most distinguished executives,” said Roger Lynch, chief executive officer of Condé Nast, to whom Wintour will continue to report.
This is quite the turnaround as just six months ago her future at the company was in doubt amid allegations that she had created a negative environment for staffers of color. In a memo to Vogue staffers at the time, she said, “I want to say plainly that I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators. We have made mistakes, too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes.”
Her longtime friend and coworker André Leon Talley also released a memoir earlier this year, detailing the breakdown of their decades-long friendship. “From a humanitarian perspective, she left me with psychological scars,” Talley told WWD at the end of April. “I was often left blowing in the wind without any explanation, which I think perhaps she should have given me.”
Also moving up the career ladder at Condé Nast is Edward Enninful, the widely celebrated top editor at British Vogue who is said to be an eventual successor to Wintour. He has been promoted to European editorial director of Vogue for the markets owned and operated by Condé Nast, which include the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
Both moves also explain why there has been a mass exodus of European executives and editors over the past few weeks, including Vogue Germany and Spain editor in chiefs Christiane Arp and Eugenia de la Torriente, respectively; Condé Nast Italia’s ceo Fedele Usai, and Condé Nast Italia’s editorial director Luca Dini.
Elsewhere, Simone Marchetti has been promoted to European editorial director of Vanity Fair, inclusive of the editions published in France, Italy and Spain. Vanity Fair’s U.S. and U.K. editions will continue to be overseen by editor in chief Radhika Jones.
Condé Nast has also appointed global editorial directors of AD, Condé Nast Traveler and GQ, with the remaining global brands to follow in early 2021 to “enable the brands to create the best version of each global story or piece of content and distribute it in customized ways for each local edition.”
Amy Astley has been named global editorial director of AD, Divia Thani the global editorial director of Condé Nast Traveler and Will Welch will be the global editorial director of GQ. The deputy editorial directors for AD, Condé Nast Traveler and GQ will be Oliver Jahn, Jesse Ashlock and Adam Baidawi, respectively.
“Edward, Simone and our new global editorial directors, Amy, Divia and Will, have proven throughout their tenures at the company that they are our best storytellers, capturing the cultural zeitgeist and growing their audiences on all platforms. In their success they have helped shape the world’s most influential brands and reimagined them for our new media ecosystem, and I’m thrilled to see their talents helping to lead our next chapter,” Lynch continued.
Wintour added: “The relationships we have with our audiences today are ongoing exchanges of ideas and opinions, and Edward, Amy, Divia, Will and Simone are masterful in their approaches to creating content that inspires, challenges and delights. As we look to the future of Condé Nast, we will use the unmatched combination of our global reach and local knowledge and identity of our titles to tell the most important, inclusive and inspiring stories of our time.”
As first reported by WWD earlier this month, Natalia Gamero del Castillo will step into the newly created position of managing director of its European business. She will take over some of the responsibilities of chief operating officer Wolfgang Blau, who departed in September after five years to start a fellowship from the Reuters Institute for the study of journalism at Oxford University.