Troy Young, president of Hearst Magazines, resigned today after a damning New York Times profile detailed inappropriate workplace behavior.
Young reportedly made rude, sexually offensive jokes and fostered what employees described as a toxic culture among Hearst Magazines’ brands, including those that often employed women to write about female-centric brands like Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire.
Young was named president of the company in 2018 after five years as president of Hearst Magazines Digital Media. In his prior role, he developed the company’s content management system and was credited with growing audiences across brands.
“Troy has done an outstanding job building our world-class digital business,” CEO Steven R. Swartz in a statement at the time.
On Thursday, Swartz emailed the company that, effective immediately, Young would resign “in the best interest of all of us,” according to a copy of the email. A spokesperson for Hearst Magazines didn’t return an additional request for comment.
Under Young’s leadership, the company did see several seismic shifts. The company made additional efforts to combine its digital and print staffs, oftentimes leading to layoffs. Employees across brands voted to unionize in response. Hearst executives also reportedly killed a story about allegations on Bryan Singer that Esquire reporters were working on, which was ultimately published by The Atlantic.
In a previous wide-ranging interview with Adweek, Young declined to comment on “the editorial process,” but said executives work “in lockstep with our legal team who we have deep respect for.”
“I regret any time that a huge amount of energy is put into something and the investment’s not realized. It is in no way reflective of our commitment to ambitious journalism,” Young continued at the time.
Cosmopolitan’s editor in chief Jessica Pels was also named in the Times article as an executive who fostered a “culture of discrimination.” Pels was named Adweek’s Publishing Editor of the Year last year.
Adweek named Young Magazine Executive of the Year in 2015 as part of its Hot List for establishing a collaborative atmosphere between the magazine’s brands and for relaunching each brand’s website.