The Association of Magazine Media

Charles H. Townsend

Former Chairman

Condé Nast 

Charles H. Townsend was named chairman of Condé Nast in January 2016, after serving as the company’s CEO for 11 years. Townsend has long been an integral member of Condé Nast’s executive management team. He joined the company as publisher of Glamour in 1994, became an executive vice president of Condé Nast in 1995, and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2000.

Prior to joining Condé Nast, Townsend served as president and CEO of the Women’s Magazine Publishing Division of The New York Times Company from 1986 to 1994. He began his publishing career in Miami, where he owned and operated an independent publisher’s representative company. In 1975, Townsend sold his firm to the Hearst Corporation and joined that company as publisher of Motor Boating & Sailing magazine. He later served as publisher of Sports Afield, then vice president and group publisher with responsibilities for a number of Hearst titles. Townsend concluded his career at Hearst as executive vice president and general manager of Hearst Books and Business Publishing.

A lifelong competitive sailor, Townsend has served as Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, a trustee and vice chairman of the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS), and an advisory board member of the World Ocean Observatory. He actively contributes to such causes as the Ocean Reef Foundation and Medical Center, the Herreshoff Marine Museum, the South Street Seaport, and the Boy Scouts of America. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Ad Council, the leading producer of public service announcements (PSAs) in the United States.