Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen to Exit Politico in Major Shakeup
VandeHei, Allen, and Roy Schwartz reportedly leaving to start new venture; Kim Kingsley, Danielle Jones also depart.
Major changes are coming to Politico.
Jim VandeHei, the CEO and longtime editor who owner Robert Allbritton recruited ten years ago to help start the brand, will leave Politico after the elections this fall, and he's not alone.
Chief political reporter and "Playbook" correspondent Mike Allen, chief operating officer Kim Kingsley, chief revenue officer Roy Schwartz, and EVP Danielle Jones will join VandeHei in moving on from the company, according to a memo from Allbritton distributed to staff and posted on Politico.com Thursday evening.
The announcement comes just months after Politico Magazine editor Garrett Graff left the company to return home to Vermont, and stems at least in part from Allbritton's recent clashes with VandeHei, Allen, and others over spending and expansion, according to The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and several others.
"I caught the entrepreneurial bug a decade ago when we started this place and can't seem to shake it," writes VandeHei in his own memo. "This moment in media and in history is putting every sector and idea in play—and it is too intriguing and wide open to play it safe. I plan to start a new venture when I depart."
Exactly what that new venture is remains unclear—VandeHei did not immediately return Folio:'s request for comment—although The New York Times reports that an anonymous person briefed on the matter claims Allen and Schwartz will join him.
VandeHei, Allen, and Schwartz will all remain in their current roles until after the presidential election, while Kingsley and Jones will exit sooner than that, according to Allbritton.
"In the meantime, my other co-founder, John Harris, has signaled in strong terms his desire to stay as Politico writes its next chapter," writes Allbritton. "I have asked John to take on the title of publisher in addition to editor in chief. The goal during this transition is to never lose touch with the magic embedded in the Politico brand, which John understands and articulates as well as anyone."
Editor Susan Glasser will also remain with the brand, but will transition to director of editorial innovation, a strategic role, next year.