Sauerberg, who has been president of the publishing company for the past five years, succeeds Townsend, who will become chairman at the company. S.I. Newhouse Jr. will become chairman emeritus.
Townsend told staff that Sauerberg’s elevation follows “two years of carefully staged succession planning.”
“[Sauerberg’s] vision for the future of Conde Nast includes exponential digital revenue growth, while continuing to dominate premium print content creation and award-winning journalism,” Townsend wrote in the email to staff. “It is a growth based strategy that is built on our unique reputation and powerful brand development across all platforms available to us.
The elevation of Sauerberg was not totally unexpected. As POLITICO’s Joe Pompeo wrote a year ago, the question of who would succeed Newhouse has been a hot topic in media circles. Townsend was widely believed to be planning an exit (with a chairmanship a likely landing spot), and Sauerberg was cited as the probable future CEO of the company, as his role at the company continued to grow larger.
Townsend’s email to staff is here.
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