Phillip Picardi, who has worked at legacy publishing house Condé Nast since 2010, is leaving to become the editor-in-chief of Out magazine, Out announced on Thursday. Picardi was the chief content officer at Teen Vogue; he also held the same title at Them, an LGBTQ-focused media brand that he created and launched in October of 2017. A rep for Condé Nast confirmed his departure to Fashionista without additional comment.
"I am thrilled to be charged with imagining the future of the Out brand — digitally, in print, and beyond — for the modern LGBTQ+ audience," stated Picardi in a press release. "I remember, after announcing I was gay to my own parents, Out was among the first magazines I picked up to find guidance and recognition. It is an honor to be a part of carrying this legacy forward."
"As we look to the future of Out Magazine, and the role it can play in the lives of all members of the LGBTQ+ community, we could not have found a more exceptionally dynamic and determined leader than Phillip to grow and lead the brand into the future," said Nathan Coyle, CEO of Pride Media Inc., which owns Out. "Phillip is adept in combining his activism with his resonant editorial acumen to grow brands and reach entirely new audiences in an industry where growth can be a challenge."
Picardi began his tenure at Condé Nast as an intern and has held several different editorial roles since, especially over the past two years. He became online beauty editor at Teen Vogue in 2014, and was promoted to digital editorial director in 2015. There he was credited with increasing coverage of gender equality and social justice issues, as well as growing online traffic from 2 to 12 million unique monthly visitors in just two years.
His role at the publishing house expanded last year when he began overseeing digital editorial at Allure as well, though his Allure role ended shortly after Them launched. He was named chief content officer at Teen Vogue this January, following the departure of Elaine Welteroth. (Teen Vogue also shuttered its print magazine last November.) A March New York Times profile suggested that the 27-year-old Picardi was "the future of Condé Nast."
His departure from Condé Nast is somewhat surprising given how recently (and quickly) he landed at the top of the masthead at Teen Vogue, and how recently he launched Them, the publishing house's first LGBTQ-focused title, which began as an idea he pitched to Anna Wintour.
Though, it makes more sense when you consider how many of Condé Nast's veteran editors have departed in the past year, including Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter, Glamour's Cindi Leive, and Vogue's Tonne Goodman and Phyllis Posnick (who are still involved with the magazine). Meanwhile, Condé Nast's business troubles have been no secret. According to the Wall Street Journal, however, it expects to return to profitability by 2020.