Conde Nast Hires Its First Chief Technology Officer

Magazines Increasingly Tapping a Senior Executive to Lead Digital Product Development

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NEW YORK ( -- Conde Nast, the publisher of magazines such as Vogue and The New Yorker, has named its first chief technology officer to lead digital and tech operations, focusing on developing digital products for platforms such as the Apple iPad.

Joe Simon
Joe Simon
Joe Simon, who was named to fill the post, had been CTO at Viacom, where he led technology and operations for MTV Networks, BET Networks and Paramount Pictures. At Conde Nast, Mr. Simon will report to Robert Sauerberg, who was promoted to president last month and assigned, according to CEO Charles Townsend, to adopt a "new business model" and "move beyond the magazine."

"Joe brings global experience, strong relationships with key tech partners, operational skills and experience enabling brand management, all of which will help Conde Nast achieve its strategic goals," Mr. Sauerberg said in a statement.

Magazine companies typically don't have chief technology officers, but have been increasingly tapping senior executives to fulfill some of that post's typical functions. At Time Inc., which publishes magazines from People to Fortune, Monica Ray, senior VP for corporate digital development, leads the company's paid content strategy, including its work on tablets such as the iPad and other mobile devices. At Bonnier, the publisher of magazines including Field & Stream and Popular Science, Sara Öhrvall leads similar efforts as director of research and development.

More than other magazine companies, Conde Nast had been criticized for relying too much on print ad page sales for too long, leaving it overexposed to digital media's rising competition for advertisers and consumers. But it's been talking about finding new revenue streams in digital media and services. Earlier this week it started selling an iPad app edition of Glamour, adding to a portfolio of iPad apps for titles such as Wired and Vanity Fair.

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