Conde Nast boss says not involved with Groupe Marie Claire
Outgoing Conde Nast executive Xavier Romatet said he was not involved with Groupe Marie Claire or talks with industry peers to form a new entity after Groupe Marie Claire withdrew from the talks last month.
“I am working on other personal projects,” Romatet said. “I am not involved in any shape or form with this project,” he said about informal merger talks that took place in recent weeks between Groupe Marie Claire, Mondadori’s French operations and French media group Lagardère which owns 42 percent of Groupe Marie Claire. It was reported by several media including FashionNetwork.com that Romatet was contemplating becoming head of the new entity that would be formed and that he had already helped Groupe Marie Claire in an informal fashion discuss a restructuring with unions.
“It is with great surprise that I found out about the information published on FashionNetwork.com on March 19 which said that I was already active at Groupe Marie Claire,” Romatet wrote in an emailed statement. “I have never collaborated with Marie Claire or thought about working with new entities that could be formed by the merger of Marie Claire, Mondadori and Lagardere.”
Xavier Romatet said on his Instagram account that he would leave his job as Vice President of Conde Nast and head of France in early May. Conde Nast announced that he would be replaced by Yves Bougon who joins from Hearst where he is Senior Vice President for South East Asia and helped develop Elle’s digital operations in Japan.
Last month, Groupe Marie Claire withdrew from talks that had been earlier confirmed by Mondadori itself, raising question marks over the future of the project. Groupe Marie Claire head Arnaud de Contades told Les Echos his family would not prevent Lagadere from selling its 42 percent stake if it did not harm its interests.
Merging Groupe Marie Claire, which includes titles such as Cosmopolitan, Avantages and Stylist with the French operations of Mondadori (Biba, Grazia, Closer), and certain media assets of Lagardere such as Elle, would have helped save costs in areas such as distribution and subscriptions, accounting and media buying, market analysts had said.
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