Jan 10, 2022 - Economy

Goli Sheikholeslami named CEO of Politico

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images

German publishing giant Axel Springer on Monday named Goli Sheikholeslami CEO of Politico, replacing Patrick Steel, who left the company in December.

Why it matters: Sheikholeslami comes from New York Public Radio, where she currently serves as president and CEO.

Details: In a statement, Axel Springer said Sheikholeslami will also become chairperson of the shareholder advisory board of Politico Europe, based in Brussels, and that her appointment "comes following a vigorous national search."

  • Sheikholeslami has previously held roles at various U.S. news organizations, including The Washington Post, Chicago Public Media and Conde Nast.
  • Sources internally at Politico seemed surprised by the decision.

Catch up quick: Politico has been on the hunt for a CEO for months, since Steel first announced he would depart in August.

  • Earlier this month, Protocol — the sister site to Politico focused on tech — also announced new leadership. Bennett Richardson, a longtime Politico and Protocol business leader, was named president, replacing Tammy Wincup.

The big picture: Sheikholeslami takes the helm following a turbulent year for Politico.

  • It sold to German publishing giant Axel Springer earlier this year. The acquisition initially caused some tension, when the new owners said that they would put a paywall on the site. Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner later walked back the comments.
  • Staffers formed a union around the same time as the sale process was unfolding and the union was later recognized by Politico leadership.
  • The company lost a handful of top editors, including Carrie Budoff Brown, who left for NBC News, as well as Paul Volpe and Blake Hounshell, who both left for The New York Times.

What's next: Sheikholeslami will start in February.

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