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Alex Hardiman. Photo: Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Alex Hardiman, head of news products at Facebook, is joining The Atlantic as Chief Business and Product Officer, where she'll lead product, audience experience, and consumer revenue efforts for the magazine turned digital enterprise.

Why it matters: Hardiman, a New York Times product veteran of ten years, led the team that built dozens of news products at Facebook. She joins The Atlantic not only with one of the strongest news product backgrounds in the market, but also with a unique sense of how to manage the difficult balance of business and editorial needs.

The details: In a note to staff, The Atlantic president Bob Cohn says Hardiman will be dedicated to "elevating the user experience on desktop and mobile, newsletters, podcasts, video, apps, virtual reality, and smart speakers."

  • Hardiman will also be responsible for helping to shape and expand The Atlantic’s digital consumer business, which includes its recently-launched membership program, The Masthead.

Hardiman's hire is part of a larger expansion at The Atlantic. In February, the company announced it would be adding 100 new staff across various departments, including in product, engineering, data, audience development, and consumer marketing — departments Cohn says have doubled in staff in the past year.

Our thought bubble: This is a sophisticated hire for Atlantic, which is pushing to invest more heavily in product and technology under the leadership of its new majority owner, Emerson Collective.

Note: Emerson Collective is an investor in Axios.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

4 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.

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