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Quartz CEO Zach Seward stepping away in June

The co-founder helped expand the business publication to other countries and oversaw its acquisition by a number of media firms.

The co-founder helped expand the business publication to other countries and oversaw its acquisition by a number of media firms.

Zach Seward, the co-founder and CEO of Quartz, is pictured in a social media image. (Photo via LinkedIn)
Zach Seward, the co-founder and CEO of Quartz, is pictured in a social media image. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Zach Seward, one of the original co-founders of international business publication Quartz, is stepping away from the publication in early June.

In a note posted online, Seward said his last day at Quartz will be June 9, timed to coincide with the end of his parental leave. He will make an appearance at Quartz’s editorial meeting on Thursday to say farewell and answer questions from staff.

“My own plans are uncertain,” Seward said. “I’d like to use the next few months for a mix of personal and professional projects, while figuring out what’s next.”

Seward co-founded Quartz in 2016 after several years at the Wall Street Journal. The initial mission of Quartz was to deliver international business headlines to readers who preferred consuming news on their phones and tablets.

Members of Quartz’s founding newsroom included journalism veterans from the New York Times, Bloomberg, The Economist and similar outlets. It built a chart tool called Atlas that became the cornerstone of its news articles; a version of Atlas was licensed to other news outlets, including CNBC, NPR and NBC News.

Seward initially served as Quartz’s executive editor, helping the company expand its newsroom and its international footprint to Hong Kong, India, Japan and other countries. Under Seward’s watch, Quartz grew its annual revenue to $35 million, hired nearly 200 journalists and won two Online News Association awards for general excellence.

In 2015, Seward took on the additional role of Chief Product Officer, where Quartz launched new products to increase engagement and won several industry awards for design. Four years later, he transitioned to the chief executive role, leading Quartz through the challenging macroeconomic environment brought on by the three-year coronavirus health pandemic. In 2020, Quartz sold to its current owner, G/O Media, bringing it under the same roof as Gawker, Deadspin, The Onion and Jezebel.

Heather Landy will serve as interim editor-in-chief after Seward leaves in early June while a search for a full-time, permanent editor gets underway.

“I will miss having direct access to Heather’s spot-on advice, sharp edits, and unwavering ability to see the humanity in work,” Seward said of his long-time colleague, adding that journalists at Quartz “are working under one of the best leaders and mentors in business journalism, so enjoy it!”

Seward went on to express his appreciation for the dozens of journalists who have flowed through Quartz over the years, creating impeccable and unrivaled business journalism that set the tone for others to follow.

“I am so grateful to have worked with hundreds of Quartzians, present and past, who did support each other and created the environment in which so much great journalism has been produced,” Seward wrote. “Leading Quartz was the privilege of my life, and I felt your support each step of the way.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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