Anna Wintour from Vogue promoted to Chief Content Officer for Condé Nast

Anna Wintour, long one of the most influential editors in the magazine world, is on the cusp of becoming even more powerful.

Condé Nast has appointed Ms. Wintour as its first-ever global chief content officer as part of the media company’s broader commitment to unify its international and US operations.

The promotion gives Ms. Wintour the overview of all Condé Nast brands worldwide and puts her in charge of all 25 global editions of Vogue, in addition to her long-standing role as editor-in-chief of Vogue US.

The move comes after a difficult year for Condé Nast, punctuated by layoffs and staff unrest over diversity issues. Ms. Wintour’s critics said she contributed to an atmosphere where black employees felt sidelined and belittled during her 32 years at the company. In a memo to staff in June, Ms. Wintour said she took responsibility for not improving the black staffers and pledged to do better.

The decision by Condé Nast Chief Executive Roger Lynch to give 71-year-old Mrs. Wintour broader responsibilities is a vote of confidence in her ability to help run the business as it seeks to return to profitability.

Anna Wintour, pictured in her office in 2016, was named Vogue’s US editor in 1988 and quickly became one of the fashion industry’s most influential tastemakers.


Rebecca Greenfield on behalf of The Wall Street Journal.

“Anna’s appointment is a pivotal moment for Condé Nast as her ability to stay at the forefront of connecting with new audiences, while cultivating and mentoring some of the best talent in the industry today, makes her one of the most distinguished executives of the media, ”said Mr. Lynch, to whom Mrs. Wintour will continue to report.

Ms. Wintour was named Vogue’s US editor in 1988 and quickly became one of the most influential trendsetters in the fashion industry, forging deep relationships with the best fashion houses and starring emerging designers. She turned the magazine into the company’s biggest moneymaker, and in 2014 she became the American Artistic Director of Condé Nast. Last year, she joined a global leadership team to advise on global content opportunities.

Mr. Lynch took charge of Condé Nast, whose many titles include Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, Bon Appétit and GQ, in April 2019, after a long stint with Pandora Media Inc. and Sling TV. Since then, he has worked to merge the company’s American and sprawling international businesses. He has also worked to expand into digital video, placing all of the company’s titles behind digital paywalls to supplement the declining ad revenue.

Mr. Lynch said in an interview that the company now derives less than half of its revenue from advertising on the pages of its print magazines. “We are deeply immersed in a very broad transformation project,” he said, adding that the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated some of the changes.

In 2017, Condé Nast lost $ 120 million after years of shifting readership and ad spending from magazines to the Internet. The company had set a target of 2020 to return to profitability, but was thwarted by the economic impact of the pandemic. In May, the company fired about 100 people in the US and temporarily left as many people.

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Mr. Lynch did not want to discuss Condé Nast’s financial performance in 2020, but said the company expects double-digit revenue growth next year and is committed to increasing editorial spend 25% over the next four years.

“We are now focused on how we can capitalize on the global reach of our brands on a scale that we have never been able to achieve before,” said Ms. Wintour.

As part of its efforts to streamline operations globally, the company is also announcing newly created global editors for Architectural Digest, Condé and GQ, bringing control of all editions of those titles under one person.

Amy Astley was appointed global editorial director of Architectural Digest; Divia Thani becomes the global editor of Condé Nast Traveler; and Will Welch becomes GQ’s global editor-in-chief. Edward Enninful has been appointed European Editor-in-Chief for Vogue in markets where the local edition is owned and operated by Condé Nast, including the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. The company plans to create similar roles for all of its brands next year.

Write to Lukas I. Alpert at [email protected]

Corrections and reinforcements
Condé Nast plans to increase editorial spend by 25% over the next four years. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that all additional money would be spent in 2021. (Corrected December 15)

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