Since Jim Norton’s arrival at Conde Nast, he’s operated in the same capacity as a COO. He’s made major changes at the company which Has lead to the elimination of about 100 staffers. He’s been consolidating operations and handing out new fancy titles like “Chief Industry Officer”. One big departure that is happening on August 11 is that of current men’s group Chief Business Officer Howard Mittman who oversees brands like GQ, GQ Style, Wired, Ars Technica, Backchannel, Golf World and Golf Digest. He is said to be leaving to become business head of a digital media company. His group will now be lead by women’s group chief business officer Kim Kelleher who will continue to oversee the women’s group until a replacement is selected for that role at which time she will permanently takeover Howard Mittman’s role. There is said to be unease and frustration throughout Conde Nast which some say is centered around Jim Norton who is seen as a neophyte by many inside Conde Nast. There is nothing to suggest that Mr. Mittman’s departure has to do with the alleged frustrations under Mr. Norton but staffers were surprised when Mr. Norton announced Mittman’s upcoming departure. On another note, whatever happened to Conde CEO Bob Sauerberg?
On Thursday, when Norton told his team about Mittman’s departure, he also addressed some adjustments in the Industry teams. WWD had previously reported on rumors that changes were coming to the company. A spokesman said Norton’s latest round of tweaks did not result in layoffs but instead a reallocation of resources to chief business officers or brand teams, which had been understaffed.
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