Chuck Townsend Retiring From Condé Nast on Dec. 31

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Charles H. Townsend, Chairman of Condé Nast
Charles H. Townsend, Chairman of Condé Nast Credit: Nathan Skid for Advertising Age

Chuck Townsend, who was Condé Nast's CEO for more than 10 years until handing the role to Bob Sauerberg in January and becoming chairman, will retire from the company on Dec. 31, he told employees in a memo on Tuesday.

The post of chairman will not be filled, a spokesman said.

"The business world is hard at work reinventing itself," Mr. Townsend wrote in the memo. "Every sector, every established company, is radically adjusting to the new economic order and the transformation to digitally driven connections with clients and consumers. Condé Nast is no exception. But we're not intimidated by the challenges, thanks to carefully planned leadership succession initiated several years ago, and the dedication of the organization to preserving and carefully translating the incredibly powerful brands we own into contemporary assets."

"I have complete confidence in Bob and his team, and a very good feeling about where they are taking us," Mr. Townsend added.

Mr. Townsend said he "will stay closely connected from the sidelines" after leaving the company.

Mr. Townsend's retirement was expected. Back in September 2015, when Mr. Sauerberg's ascension was announced, Condé Nast said Mr. Townsend would retire in 2016.

The last month has been a busy one for the executive ranks at Condé Nast, whose brands include Vogue, Glamour, The New Yorker, GQ, Wired, Vanity Fair, Allure and Pitchfork. On Oct. 10, the company announced the appointment of Jim Norton to the newly created post of chief business officer and the departures of Chief Marketing Officer Edward Menicheschi and Chief Administrative Officer Jill Bright, both company veterans.

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