The memo to Condé Nast's global staff, from CEO Roger Lynch:
When Putin first began this senseless war, we knew we had to take immediate action to protect our employees and our journalism and decided to suspend our publishing operations in Russia. As the war has waged on, the escalation in the severity of the censorship laws, which have significantly curtailed free speech and punished reporters simply for doing their jobs, has made our work in Russia untenable. At last count, over 650 companies have now exited or substantially reduced their day-to-day business in the country.
Today, we informed our Russian colleagues of the difficult decision to terminate our franchise agreement and cease publishing in the market. While we’ve had a successful business in Russia for over 20 years, the continued atrocities brought on by this unprovoked war and the related censorship laws have made it impossible for us to continue operating there.
As we take the necessary steps to cease publishing, we expect about 10% of our staff in Russia will remain to fulfill certain outstanding obligations. It’s our absolute priority to do all we can and support everyone affected, including providing enhanced severance and benefits, employee assistance and outplacement programs, and dedicated People team guidance in applying for open positions in other markets.
Words simply cannot express how difficult this time is for so many. What’s been weighing heavily on my mind is our staff who did not choose this war, and yet continue to bear some of its consequences. I’m extremely grateful to our teams in Russia for their many years of dedication in building great publications there that have lived up to the highest standards of Condé Nast.
Thank you all for your continued care and compassion.
My best, Roger
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