Gizmodo Media Group on Thursday announced that president Heather Dietrick, the former president of Gawker Media, would leave the company.
In a staff-wide memo obtained by Business Insider, CEO Raju Narisetti said Dietrick’s departure was “bittersweet” and would “be deeply felt” by staff.
“It is never easy to say goodbye to someone as talented, caring and committed as Heather has been, throughout her time at GMG,” Narisetti said. “She remains not only an incredible champion and fan for our journalism and our journalists, but also for the larger organization and its unique mission.
“She has been vocal in making sure we preserve and support what makes GMG special, while being pragmatic about the many changes, especially the many functions that are now stretching well beyond the realm of GMG executive team.And, in many ways, it was only a matter of time when another organization would come knocking, as it did in recent weeks, giving Heather an even bigger personal stage to show her multi-faceted skills.”
Dietrick will become the president and publisher of The Daily Beast, according to The Wall Street Journal.
GMG on Thursday also announced a series of promotions, moving Senior Vice President Lynn Oberlander to executive vice president and general counsel, and promoting Senior Vice President Product Lauren Bertolini to chief operating officer.
Dietrick’s departure further signaled the erosion of the former Gawker Media newsroom amid a tumultuous several months following Gawker’s acquisition by Univision, and subsequent rebrand as Gizmodo Media Group.
As Gawker’s former general counsel, Dietrick shepherded Gawker Media through some of the most turbulent events in its history, including the lawsuit filed by wrestler Hulk Hogan that stripped the company of its flagship site and millions of dollars, and the acquisition last September by Univision.
But Dietrick’s power at the company seemed to shrink in recent months.
A person familiar with the situation said that Dietrick “was almost completely sidelined” by management following the acquisition late last year, a sentiment widely shared among staff.
Over the past several months, the company has been roiled by high-profile departures that have sunk staff morale and led to questions about whether management was interested in retaining women in top roles within the company.
After executive editor Katie Drummond left the company for The Outline in March, the GMG editorial union sent a letter criticizing management for failing to do more to keep top female editors.
“We were extremely alarmed to hear that Katie Drummond will not become executive editor and instead leave Gizmodo Media,” the letter said.
“It continues a disturbing pattern of top management’s failure to retain women in positions of authority, and raises serious concerns about the company’s commitment to honor its contractual obligation to editorial independence. Further, it is yet another sign that Univision still has not found a way to manage the successful independent media company it acquired months ago.”