Essence is filling out its C-suite as it prepares to go fully independent under its new ownership. Michelle Ebanks, who is currently president of the esteemed magazine, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Essence Communications, while current general manager Joy Profet will take up the role of Chief Operations Officer. There will also be new roles added to the c-suite, with Darline Jean coming on as Chief Digital Officer, and Moana Luu joining on as Chief Content and Chief Creative Officer. The changes to the c-suite all take immediate effect. “When Essence announced our new ownership at the beginning of this year, we declared our independence — free to evolve with the diverse and growing needs of the women we serve and to transform to stay ahead of a rapidly changing marketplace,” Ebanks said.  “As we’ve continued to assess the needs of our business and our team, it became clear that a critical part of this transformation was creating a c-suite that allows us to meaningfully invest in the areas most critical to our future across content, creative, digital, commerce and technology, as well as to create a space where black women can consistently have opportunity and see themselves at the highest levels of business.” It’s been about a year since Richelieu Dennis, the founder and CEO of Sundial Brands, the beauty products company, purchased Essence from Time Inc., just as Time was acquired by MeredithCorp. It’s been a bit of a transitional period since then, with Essence operating under Meredith, but as of next month the magazine is expected to be fully independent and fully under Black leadership with Dennis, who is now the Chairman of Essence Ventures, at the helm. Luu will be tasked with directing content across print, digital, social, video and experiential events, while looking into areas of possible audience and revenue growth. Jean will also be working to identify new sources of revenue, and will also oversee current revenue operations, audience development, digital syndication, as well as e-commerce and product development efforts.

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