Hearst named a top operational executive as the interim president of its magazine group Friday, a day after the Hearst Magazines president, Troy Young, resigned following allegations of workplace misconduct.
Debi Chirichella, who has served as the magazine group’s chief financial officer since 2011, will take over a business unit that includes prominent titles like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and Esquire.
Mr. Young, 52, resigned Thursday after The New York Times reported that he had made suggestive comments in the workplace about sex toys, sent pornography to a senior editor and had made demeaning remarks to a junior employee.
He had become president of the magazine group in 2018, after a series of bruising battles between the company’s digital operation, which he had led since 2013, and its print side.
Hearst’s new interim leader will face the challenge of driving traffic and advertising revenue on the web — Mr. Young’s focus — while maintaining the cultural relevance of brands like Cosmopolitan, which are reporting on race and gender while some company employees have described instances of workplace discrimination.
Ms. Chirichella, 57, who is now the magazine division’s executive vice president, chief financial officer and director of global operations, had spent seven years at the rival publisher Condé Nast before joining Hearst.
Steve Swartz, Hearst’s chief executive, said in an email to staff that Ms. Chirichella and other top executives would lead “a process of listening and discussion so that we can together plot the course of the next stage of our magazine company’s transformation.” He also stressed the company’s culture of “care and concern for each and every one of us who work here.”
Hearst, which also operates newspapers and has investments in the cable networks A&E and ESPN, is in a stronger financial position than many media companies. The magazine division has not laid off editorial staff, but the company, which is fighting to avoid unionization, is navigating the same financial straits as other media companies, and the presence of a finance executive at the head of the division could point to cuts.