The author and editor in chief of the men’s title in the UK announced on Instagram on Friday that the August 2021 issue will be his last with the publisher.
Jones joins a growing list of Condé Nast editors who have exited over the last six months as the company consolidates its editorial teams under global and regional leaders.
In December, the publisher announced a new streamlined global structure: each title was appointed a global editorial director to oversee all editions in the publisher’s owned and operated regions, effectively adding a layer of leadership above all editors-in-chief who previously reported to their regional executives. In addition, American Vogue’s Anna Wintour was promoted to chief content officer.
For GQ, American editor Will Welch got the top job. Adam Baidawi, the editor of GQ Middle East, was named his deputy and is moving to London this year, where he is expected to take on more of a Europe-focused role.
While the new structure was announced in December, the publisher is now working to make the strategy a reality, leading to the exit of several editors in chief. While the departures thus far have been concentrated in Europe, where large numbers of employees in the UK and France were notified of potential role changes and redundancies in recent weeks, and within Vogue, which has the most international editions, high-level exits have also happened from Japan to India as well as at GQ and Architectural Digest. More exits across more of the publisher’s international offices are expected.
“I leave the brand in extremely rude health,” Jones wrote on Instagram about his departure. “British GQ remains the most successful title in our sector, we reach over five million readers on our website each month, and last year during lockdown we were the only brand to pivot all of our events to digital.”
Jones was one of the last remaining editors in chief at the publisher with decades of experience. He joined the title in 1999 after roles at i-D, The Face and other British titles, and under his tenure, British GQ won multiple awards from the British Society of Magazine Editors. As chairman of the British Fashion Council for menswear, Jones spearheaded the launch of London Fashion Week: Men’s and was actively involved in the British fashion industry.
In a memo to employees in April, Condé Nast’s chief executive officer Roger Lynch said the company would increase its investment in “content capabilities” by 25 percent over the next four years.
“In this transformation, parts of our workforce will evolve as we transition from outdated modes of publishing and build a digital-first content company for the future,” Lynch wrote. “As we implement each brand’s specific vision, by the end of the year, our global workforce is anticipated to grow.”