A spokesperson has confirmed to us that Constance White, editor in chief of Essence since March 2011, is leaving the magazine.
The reason is so far unknown, but White’s tenure at Essence was not entirely controversy-free.
Last year, she reportedly fired Elliana Placas, the magazine’s first white fashion director, whose initial hiring was criticized by readers who felt the magazine should have hired a member of the race it’s targeting. Shortly prior to Placas’ departure, it was revealed that Essence‘s managing editor Michael Bullerdick had posted racist and right-wing comments on his Facebook. Bullerdick then accepted a position elsewhere “by mutual agreement.”
Before joining Essence, White was eBay’s Style Director. We’ve reached out to Essence for a statement and will report back when we know more.