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Photo: GMG, Jessica Murphy

Upworthy’s parent company Good Media Group (GMG) is bringing in a new CEO and editor-in-chief to hone the company’s strategic vision of promoting social good, a year after the brand merged with its consulting arm, GOOD Corp.

Why it matters: The combined company sees a business opportunity in the fact that consumers, particularly its core audience of millennials, are more highly engaged in news about social causes — and increasingly looking to brands to take a stand on social issues. The new leaders have been brought on board specifically to execute that vision.

Charlie Wilkie has been appointed CEO. Wilkie, who has been with the company since 2016 and previously served as Chief Revenue Officer, says now is the perfect time to be pushing the business to experiment with new products and strategies. Under Wilkie’s leadership, the company has been able to secure partnerships with several national brands like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Johnson & Johnson, and L'Oréal.

  • "Given the landscape right now, this is the right time to launch a new phase and period of growth for the company." Wilkie says. He points to Good Media Company's mission and audience of loyal, affluent millennials as an opportunity to create editorial and business products that will take hold in the market.
  • “Upworthy and GOOD are pioneers in progress," he added.

Liz Heron has been tapped as the company's new Editor-in-Chief. She is a veteran digital journalist with a background that spans both editorial and industry roles. Previously, she was former Head of News Partnerships at Facebook and an editor at The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

  • "I wanted to be a part of a company that makes social good a priority," she says. Wilkie says Heron's background working both on the editorial sides of a media company and the business side of a tech company makes her uniquely positioned to carry out the company's vision in an innovative way.

GMG is also announcing three new board members: Gaby Darbyshire, formerly the COO of Gawker; Ronda Carnegie, formerly the Head of Global Partnerships/Strategic Initiatives at TED; and Michelle Kydd Lee, formerly the Chief Innovation Officer of Creative Arts Agency (CAA).

What's next: By the second half of this year, the company is hoping to launch a full-fledged social impact program that builds on its commitment to creating positive change. It's also experimenting with new ways of storytelling — driven by Heron — that sharpen the editorial vision for both media brands and ​explore innovative ways to increase audience loyalty.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.

7 hours ago - World

Scoop: Germany urges Congress not to sanction Putin’s pipeline

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.