Conde Nast Names President as Company Seeks 'New Business Model'

Sauerberg Named to Post, Townsend Remains CEO

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NEW YORK ( -- Conde Nast adjusted its senior leadership structure today, naming a new president and making other changes it said would help it adopt a "new business model" and "move beyond the magazine."

Robert Sauerberg
Robert Sauerberg
The company named Robert A. Sauerberg, who had been group president for consumer marketing, to be its new president, a role that had belonged to Charles H. Townsend.

Mr. Sauerberg's primary responsibility will be to shift Conde Nast toward a model revolving around digital connections with consumers, using emerging technology and better serving advertisers, according to a company statement.

"The historical priorities that have served our company so well -- great content, best-in-class magazines, key client relationships - remain the cornerstone of what we do, but we need to move beyond the magazine," said Mr. Townsend, who remains CEO, in the statement.

Conde Nast chairman S.I. Newhouse, Jr., named Mr. Townsend president and CEO in 2004. Mr. Townsend rationalized and stabilized what had been a rather freewheeling corporate culture under prior leaders, including the flamboyant Steven T. Florio.

The company -- which publishes magazines including Vogue, Glamour and The New Yorker -- has frequently been criticized for relying too heavily on print-ad-page sales, leaving it overexposed to digital competition for both consumers and advertisers. It has been investing a lot, however, in app editions of its magazines for sale on the iPad, an effort in which Mr. Sauerberg has been deeply involved.

Two group presidents who had been considered potential successors to Mr. Townsend, David Carey and Tom Florio, recently left the company.

Lou Cona was also named CMO at Conde Nast today; he had been exec VP of the Conde Nast Media Group, which handles corporate sales across the company's magazines and assembles big marketing programs for advertisers. As CMO Mr. Cona will continue to run the media group but also oversee the integration of the company's print, digital, social, e-commerce, consumer insight and other assets, the company said.

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