Troy Young, the global president of Hearst Magazines, resigned Thursday evening, a day after a New York Times report detailed inappropriately sexual comments he allegedly made to employees at titles such as Cosmopolitan and a “toxic culture” at the company.
Earlier in the day, Young had apologized in a memo to staffers while also disputing the story, which he said “misrepresented the culture we have built.” He had pushed back even more vehemently in the Times report, responding in a statement that “specific allegations raised by my detractors are either untrue, greatly exaggerated or taken out of context.”
But by Thursday evening, the corporate calculation seemed to have changed. Young’s resignation was announced by Hearst president and chief executive Steven R. Swartz in a terse email to staffers.
“Troy Young and I have agreed that it is in the best interest of all of us that he resign his position as president of Hearst Magazines, effective immediately,” Swartz wrote in the memo, which was obtained by The Washington Post.
Young was promoted to the top editorial job in August 2018, after serving as the company’s digital-side president for five years and overseeing the company’s pivot from print-first publishing to more quick-turn Web publishing.
He paid tribute to that evolution in his statement responding to the allegations in the report. “The pace of evolving our business and the strength of my commitment is ambitious, and I sincerely regret the toll it has taken on some in our organization,” he said.
In responding to the Times report, Hearst had acknowledged that Young’s “relentless pursuit of excellence was at times combined with a brash demeanor that rubbed some the wrong way” but said that he “has worked to develop a more inclusive management style” after taking over the magazine division, which publishes brands such as Elle, Esquire and Women’s Health.
According to the report in the Times, Young asked a pregnant Cosmopolitan employee in the Hearst cafeteria, “So, is the baby mine?”
After publication of the report, former Hearst employees took to social media to make allegations about Young’s behavior.
By Thursday, when his resignation was announced, the company had deleted his staff bio page.