Anna Wintour & Conde Nast executives will take pay cuts ahead of major layoffs

Even before the pandemic, print media was struggling, especially magazines. Magazines were getting creative, trying to throw most of their content into “digital issues” and paid online magazine subscriptions. Vogue Magazine and their international editions have never used online subscriptions, content to merely offer free online content and then depend on their subscribers to the print editions, and the advertising from luxury designer brands. Well, that model has collapsed during the pandemic. Conde Nast will probably lay off thousands of employees, but first they’re making their top editors and executives take big pay cuts:

Condé Nast, the most glittering of all magazine publishers, is the latest media casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. Roger J. Lynch, the chief executive of the company behind Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, sent a memo on Monday to 6,000 employees around the world to inform them of an austerity plan that includes pay cuts, furloughs and possible layoffs.

“It’s very likely our advertising clients, consumers and therefore our company will be operating under significant financial pressure for some time,” Mr. Lynch said in the note. “As a result, we’ll need to go beyond the initial cost-savings measures we put in place to protect our business for the long term.”

The salaries of those earning $100,000 or more — just under half the company — will be reduced by 10 to 20 percent for five months, starting in May, the memo said. The pay of executives in the senior management team, including Anna Wintour, the artistic director and Condé Nast’s best-known figurehead, will be cut 20 percent. In addition, Mr. Lynch said that he would forgo half of his salary, and that board members who were not employees of Advance Publications (the holding company that owns Condé Nast), like Domenico De Sole, former chief executive of Gucci Group, would take a 50 percent reduction in their compensation.

The company plans to start three- or four-day workweeks for some employees in markets such as Britain and the European Union, “in particular where government programs and stimulus packages can help supplement employees’ earnings,” Mr. Lynch wrote in the memo. Condé Nast is not directly asking for government money, but is instead exploring the use of relief programs and stimulus packages in certain regions for furloughed or laid-off employees. The company plans to take advantage of the “partial activity” assistance programs in those parts of the world to make up for the lost salary of furloughed employees or those whose hours have been cut.

[From The NY Times]

It’s worth noting that the talk of Conde Nast using existing relief programs in “certain regions” will almost certainly be for the European editions of Vogue. No such relief program exists for American magazine workers. And we still haven’t gotten those $1200 “relief checks” because the Trump administration can’t do anything. Anyway, I do appreciate when struggling companies decide that their first move is to make their highest paid employees take a paycut. That’s how it should be.

Also, props to Anna Wintour – she was very smart (very early) about social distancing and encouraging Vogue employees to work from home. Anna is not just worried about her own people at Vogue, she’s worried about fashion designers, people who work within the fashion, styling and magazine industries, and of course she’s worried about medical people too. Did you know her son is a doctor? I did not.

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“Tom [Ford] and I are not doctors, but there is so much help that is needed, especially as small businesses and workers around this country suffer devastating economic consequences,” Anna Wintour says, adding: “The fashion industry has been hit hard. I have been speaking to so many American designers and others in the community who fear that they won’t make their payroll or have had their orders returned, stores closed, who fear that their businesses and their livelihoods may not survive what we’re going through. The fund we’ve created is intended to help them and the talented people they work with.” Tap the link in our bio to learn more about the #CVFFACommonThread fund and to donate if you can.

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Photos courtesy of Vogue’s IG.

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24 Responses to “Anna Wintour & Conde Nast executives will take pay cuts ahead of major layoffs”

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  1. manda says:

    In this day and age, I get so excited when I see or hear someone who is reasonable! Too bad she isn’t the president

    • Original Jenns says:

      I do, too. How sad that being decent and having common sense and considering others is a reason to celebrate these days! It is nice and a little heart warming to see not everything has gone off the deepend. I do enjoy reading about all of these CEOs and big wigs cutting off their salary to help employees.

  2. olala says:

    I will be shallow today but her cream sweater is pure perfection. I need one like this! Oversized but the one that doesn’t make you look fat. Arghhh going to find out, probably Chanel or something i can’t afford 🤣🤣🤣

    • velvet72 says:

      She’s been wearing La Ligne sweaters. Two of the women who founded it worked at Vogue for many years. They are not cheap but not ultra luxury expensive either.

      • Harla says:

        Thanks for the tip velvet72! I just went to the site and yeah, they have very beautiful pieces and while not cheap they appear to be items that you would have for years and years.

      • olala says:

        I have few pieces from them but again like most brands hit and miss sometimes

      • olala says:

        Velvet72 thank you!!!! Found it!

        I love you Celebitches xxx

    • sealit says:

      Psst! They have some at Nordstrom 40-50% off.

  3. Bookie says:

    Her quarantine sweater game is great!

    • olala says:

      Yep yep!!! Now i have lockdown task to id that cream one! The hardest thing to buy good quality great warm iversized sweater that doesn’t make you look like a doughnut
      Oh thanks Anna you gave me newfound purpose!!!🤣

      Celebitches please help!

      • Harla says:

        I think the fact that she’s quite small helps her look less like a doughnut :)

      • olala says:

        @Harla not always… the cut and fit are everything. I am tall and always size S or M and some are perfect cut etc and some like omg loooking like chunky michelin man three times bigger. To find a good warm good quality sweater that is flattering is a task! Lol

    • SM says:

      Yes. I had to drool for a moment over those sweaters before I could focus on anything she has to say. I never knew she had a son… she seems proud and concerned for him. I hope he gets through it ok.

  4. tomato80 says:

    I got my relief check today so they are coming.

  5. Ali says:

    My company did pay cuts, furloughs and layoffs last week with the executive team taking the largest pay cuts.

  6. Harla says:

    While I enjoyed her short video, whoever edited it could have done a bit better job as the noticeable skips/jumps were a bit distracting. I did not know Anna had a son or that he is a doctor, she seemed quite emotional talking about him and the fact that he is currently quite ill. I hope for a speedy recovery for him and all who are suffering from this illness.

  7. MellyMel says:

    Her sweater game is great! It’s way too hot where I am so I am envious. Also I think most of us are supposed to get our checks tomorrow or Thursday.

  8. lucy2 says:

    It sounds like the company is doing the best they can, and at least they’re taking it from the top earners and not just laying off all the lower wage people, like many companies did.

  9. Nina Simone says:

    My friend’s company did exec pay cuts but furloughed tons of departments a few days later. What was the point of the pay cuts then?

  10. OuiMelissa says:

    A lot of bad things I’ve been said about Anna Wintour, but she has always cared about and for everything involving the fashion industry. I heard she is a very loyal friend as well and will go out of her way to help new designers. I hope her son and everyone suffering from this pandemic recover.

  11. L says:

    I really like Anna Wintour. She’s a very interesting woman. I watched her documentary a while ago, and my takeaway was that she is quite shy, and maybe even a little bit sad. On the surface she can appear a little cold, but I think she’s just reserved. She is clearly hardworking and thoughtful though… It made me realise that you don’t have to be this big gregarious personality to be a successful leader. I came away from the doco with an appreciation for her that I didn’t have before. She copped a lot of criticism for putting kimye and other celebs on the covers of Vogue but I think it was a good strategy once I heard her reasoning.