Refinery29 picks Simone Oliver as new global Editor-in-Chief
Media and entertainment company for young women Refinery29 has announced that digital pioneer and thought leader Simone Oliver will join as Global Editor-in-Chief, starting September 30, 2020.
In this new role, Oliver will work to expand the brand’s global voice, mission, and point of view across platforms, from on-site articles to social programming and video, to cross-functional strategic and commercial partnerships in service of Refinery29’s audience.
Oliver comes with wealth of experience in publishing; she spent thirteen years in various editorial and strategy posts at the New York Times, served as Digital Director at Allure and joins Refinery29 from Facebook and Instagram Global Media Partnerships teams, where she leads work with lifestyle publishers and magazines.
As one of the senior strategic voices for the youth-focused destination, Oliver will be responsible for identifying and building impact-minded, insight-driven content that speaks to this powerful generation of women through the lens of culture, identity, and lifestyle.
Focused on global audience growth and developing a distinct content strategy across channels and regions, Oliver will work to refocus and expand this direct relationship, pushing Refinery29’s IP and platform development across categories to reach audiences where they are. With the brand’s video and social audience growth, over 18 per cent and more than 22 per cent year on year on Instagram and YouTube, respectively, and an expanding affiliate + shopping business that has already charted nearly 100 per cent growth Year on Year, Oliver will also identify and integrate innovative cross-platform opportunities that elevate the genre-defining content for which Refinery29 has become known.
Reporting to VICE Media Group Chief Digital Officer Cory Haik, Oliver will oversee the global Refinery29 content and editorial teams across Refinery29’s offices in US, London, and Berlin. She will work closely with editorial, video, social, commercial, and brand leadership teams, as well as the VICE Media Group content and strategy teams spread across the globe.
She will oversee the daily global editorial operations, planning and training, to help foster an inclusive culture and ensure internal teams reflect and inspire the brand’s audience in how they create and grow around pivotal issues that impact women: from voting, reproductive rights and pay equity, to social justice, wellness, and evolving styles of self-expression. Oliver will also collaborate directly with newly elevated Refinery29 executive editor Connie Wang to help build out the strategic content plan for the brand moving forward and into 2021, as well as Senior Vice President of Editorial Content Strategy and Development, Julie Alvin, on continuing to expand and engage Refinery29’s audience in these critical categories.
Alvin will report directly to Oliver, along with all global content leadership.
Nancy Dubuc, CEO, VICE Media Group: “Simone is a powerhouse media leader, strong visionary, and a storyteller at heart. 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.”
Cory Haik, Chief Digital Officer, VICE Media Group: “Simone is a unique voice in media and brings an incisive, informed perspective that speaks to Refinery29’s audience, along with a digitally forward ability to sharply amplify that voice across platforms. Through the brand’s recent Voices of Disability, Juneteenth, Not Your Token Asian and Uncharted Bodies packages, to always-on content from thriving verticals like Money Diaries, Writing Critics Wrongs, Unbothered, and Somos, Refinery29 has built a curated relationship of trust and engagement, and I’m excited to see Simone break new ground to expand these conversations and elevate them to new audiences.”
Simone Oliver, Global Editor-in-Chief, Refinery29: "I’m so excited to join a brand that is dedicated to providing women a platform for their stories and knows their audience, because they truly show up for them,” said Oliver. “I’ve been a loyal reader of Refinery29 content since its early days, and at a pivotal time when strong voices are necessary and the values they reflect are crucial, I’m thrilled to lead this next phase of its evolution.”
A cultural tastemaker and passionate content creator who sits at the intersection of storytelling and style, Oliver comes to Refinery29 with decades of editorial and platform experience.
Most recently, on the Global Media Partnerships team at Facebook which also extended to Instagram, she led the platform’s work with magazine and lifestyle publisher partnerships, with a focus on driving editorial and business value through strategic audience development initiatives and envelope-pushing content collaborations.
Prior to that, Oliver served as Digital Director for Conde Nast’s Allure, shaping the brand’s digital relaunch and expansion into new properties and services, across content, commerce, and product innovation.
Also bringing a legacy of direct editorial experience across culture and style, Oliver previously spent 13 years at The New York Times where she helped incite and transform the brand’s digital-first content strategy.
As Growth Strategy editor, she oversaw the Fashion & Styles, Food, Travel section, and T Magazine, with an eye for curating compelling digital content across platforms, and prior to that, as the Styles section Digital Fashion Editor, where she played an integral role in defining the section’s digital content strategy, including founding the @NYTFashion Instagram account.
Oliver also serves as an adjunct professor at Syracuse University’s Newhouse in New York journalism, teaching Social Platforms, Processes and Perspectives. She is a proud graduate.