Conde Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg is preparing to show and prove for his bosses at Advance Publications as the company’s board is set to have its first quarterly meeting since the passing of Si Newhouse. According to the NY Post, Mr. Sauerberg is under pressure to cut costs and inject some new energy into Conde Nast. He will present to the board and Newhouse family members his plans to make this happen. Under Mr. Saueberg there have been what some would call some hiccups, the biggest one being his hiring and then firing of Jim Norton who he brought in from AOL as Chief Business Officer/President of Revenue to revamp the company’s sales operations . What followed his arrival were multiple restructurings, firings and hirings and fancy new job titles. But nothing Mr Norton did with what seemed like complete autonomy helped to turn things around for Conde Nast and so he was removed swiftly and replaced by Pamela Drucker Mann. Whether she can help Mr. Sauerberg deliver is a wait and see but so far, her first move was right out of the Jim Norton playbook which she is said to have co-authored.
Conde Nast is one of the last standing big U.S. magazine publishers following the recent sale of Time Inc to Meredith. Mr. Norton’s time there came with constant speculation that he was brought in to help prepare a sale of the company which he denied. However, a lot has changed since Mr. Norton left and it sounds like the Advance board and Newhouse family are hungry for some fresh success and new direction. In addition to laying out his plans to save the company $100 million in costs, what else does Mr. Sauerberg have up his sleeves to entice the board? And is the Newhouse family and/or Advance board willing to stick it out with Mr. Sauerberg if any plan he presents falls short?
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