Former Elle chief brand officer Carol Smith, who left in April to head up Conde Nast’s food group, got fired yesterday, reports WWD.
Smith was hired by former Vogue publisher Tom Florio, who also “left” the company a few months ago.
As someone who is deeply entrenched in the transformation of the fashion publishing world, this really irks me. Not because Smith was so crucial to Conde Nast. And not because she won’t find another fabulous position. (I’ve only heard wonderful things about her as a leader and a boss.)
No, I’m angry because Conde Nast is still so top heavy. There are way too many high-paid executives with nothing to do. Roles aren’t well-delineated, and there isn’t one singular mission statement. (At least not one that is actually implemented.)
In other words, America’s most powerful consumer publishing company is a complete mess. At least on the business side.
Fashion publishing is changing rapidly, and no one knows what’s next. But a company with so many resources–financially and editorially–should not be this behind. “We are terrible with layers of management,” a source told WWD. “We don’t do that well. We don’t know what their jobs are supposed to be.”