After co-founder and global editor-in-chief Christene Barberich resigned in June amid allegations of racist aggressions at Refinery29 — including pay disparity, a lack of Black leadership, and microaggressions — the Vice-owned, female-focused digital lifestyle brand has found its new editor.
Simone Oliver, a former New York Times editor and Facebook executive, will step into the role on Sept. 30, reporting to Vice’s chief digital officer Cory Haik, Variety reports. Refinery said that in her new role, Oliver will seek to foster an inclusive company culture, ensure that the publication’s internal teams reflect and inspire audiences, and provide coverage of issues that are pivotal to women, including reproductive rights, pay equity, social justice, wellness, and self-expression.
Oliver will oversee Refinery29 across all platforms — including articles, social content, and video — and will preside over all of its editorial teams in the U.S., London, and Berlin. She will also work in close tandem with newly-promoted Refinery29 executive editor Connie Wang and SVP of editorial content strategy and development Julie Alvin, Variety reports.
Prior to joining Refinery29, Oliver served in various roles at The New York Times over the course of 13 years, culminating as growth strategy editor, then joined Allure as digital director before heading to Facebook and Instagram, where she led partnerships with magazines and other lifestyle publishers.
“Simone is a powerhouse media leader, strong visionary, and a storyteller at heart,” Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc said in a statement. “As Refinery29 continues to be a vital megaphone for young women’s stories and experiences, her forward-thinking approach to content and strategic media expertise comes at a pivotal time for this powerful generation.”
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