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Group Nine and PopSugar announce joint leadership team

Pop Sugar
Photo: Rob Kim / Stringer/Getty Images

Group Nine Media, which includes digital lifestyle brands like The Dodo, NowThis, Thrillist and Seeker, will announce a new leadership team Tuesday expected to go into effect after the completion of the company's recently announced acquisition of PopSugar Inc., a digital media company that caters to millennial women.

Details: Group Nine's corporate leadership team will include leaders from both companies relatively equally. Brands under the combined company will essentially keep the same leadership.

Top leadership: Ben Lerer, CEO of Group Nine, will continue in that role for the combined company, while Brian Sugar, co-founder and CEO of PopSugar, will become Group Nine’s president. He will be responsible for strategic initiatives and innovation.

  • Sources say that Christa Carone, Group Nine's current president, and Judd Merkel, Group Nine's CFO, are both leaving the company; however, both will stay on to help with the transition.

PopSugar executives: Geoff Schiller, who is currently chief revenue officer of PopSugar, will become CRO for Group Nine. Sean Macnew, the chief operating officer and chief financial officer of PopSugar, will become CFO of Group Nine. 

  • PopSugar's Chris George, the brand's EVP of product marketing and sales strategy, will become COO for Group Nine.

Group Nine executives: Suzanne Kolb is presently Group Nine’s chief brand officer and will continue in that role for the combined company.

  • Annie Trombatore, the chief people officer for Group Nine, will remain in that position as well. April Mellody, the chief communications officer for Group Nine, will continue in her role.

Between the lines: Brands under the combined company will basically keep their leadership in place.

  • PopSugar: Lisa Sugar, co-founder and president, will continue in that role.
  • The Dodo: Izzie Lerer, Ben Lerer's sister, is currently the co-founder and chief creative officer of The Dodo and will continue in that role. YuJung Kim, president of The Dodo, will also remain in her position.
  • NowThis: Athan Stephanopoulos, who is currently the president of NowThis, will stay on in that capacity. Tina Exarhos, the chief content officer of NowThis, will stay on in the same role as well.
  • Thrillist: Ocean MacAdams is currently the president of Thrillist and will continue in that role. Meghan Kirsch, the chief content officer of Thrillist, will keep her same job.
  • Seeker: Caroline Smith is currently the chief content officer of Seeker and will continue in that role.

The big picture: The consolidation, announced last month, is the latest media mega-merger between two venture-backed companies looking to unify for survival.

  • The purpose of the merger is to give the combined company more scale for selling digital ads. It will also help Group Nine build its commerce and events businesses.

What's next: In a statement, Group Nine says it expects the deal to close in the coming weeks. 

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Note: Ken Lerer, father to Izzie Lerer and Ben Lerer, is an investor in Axios.