Chris Anderson, the long-time editor-in-chief of Condé Nast’s flagship tech and science publication Wired magazine, is stepping down from his post, the magazine announced Friday.
Already a successful entrepreneur, Anderson is leaving the publication to concentrate on 3D Robotics, a company he cofounded in 2009 that makes DIY Drones.
Anderson announced his decision to leave the company at an all-staff meeting at the magazine’s main office in San Francisco on Friday, VentureBeat reported.
The news was also announced in a company-wide email to all of Wired’s fellow Condé Nast publications on Friday. The message was posted online by Gawker’s tech website Gizmodo, which also confirmed from Anderson himself that he will remain in charge of Wired’s editorial content until a new EIC is appointed.
“I’ll be here until my replacement [is] in place,” he said in an email to Gizmodo. “We don’t have a timetable for that, but probably before the end of the year.”
“This is an opportunity for me to pursue an entrepreneurial dream,” Anderson said in a statement. “I’m confident that Wired’s mission to influence and chronicle the digital revolution is stronger than ever and will continue to expand and evolve.”
Anderson has served as the magazine’s editor in chief since 2001. The magazine was first founded in 1993, making Anderson it’s longest-serving EIC to date.
Before joining Wired, Anderson worked for seven years at the Economist, filling a number of positions ranging from Technology Editor to U.S. Business Editor. He began his career as an editor for two prestigious scientific journals, Nature and Science.
Anderson’s legacy at Wired is recognized by many technology and science journalists both for helping popularize the historically obscure form of science writing and bringing about its current transformation through pop-culture intellectual trends like futurism.
“It's perhaps the end of an era at Wired,” Matt Buchanan wrote at BuzzFeed, “which had shifted its coverage further and further from its techno-counter-cultural roots toward a more TED-friendly, utopic technocapitalist bent with Anderson at the helm.”
The transition away from full-time editorial work also signifies the completion of Anderson’s long-term evolution from his role as a journalist into his TED-friendly intellectual-cum-entrepreneur persona. Since starting at Wired, Anderson has written three books, all focused on evolutions in technology that are reshaping the business world. All three of his books -- 2006’s “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More,” 2009’s “Free: The Future of a Radical Price,” and this year’s “Makers: The New Industrial Revolution” began as feature stories in Wired magazine and helped skyrocket Anderson to the top of the tech-friendly lecture circuit. 3D Robotics was similarly profiled in last July’s issue of Wired in an article by Anderson titled “How I Accidentally Kickstarted the Domestic Drone Boom.”
His latest book, “Makers,” released last month, expands on the idea that do-it-yourself modes of production made possible by new technology like 3D printing are going to launch a new industrial revolution that gives to underpaid and underappreciated workers the very means of production they have sought to control for so long.
“Anderson is no stranger to this Panglossian brand of futurology,” the Guardian wrote in its review of the new book. “He is himself a mini-cottage industry, turning trend-spotting into popular economic manifestos.”
There has been no word on who will replace Anderson as the next EIC, though Gizmodo speculated that the magazine’s executive editor and frequent writer Thomas Goetz may fill Anderson’s shoes at least until a new head is chosen. Adweek has also named a number of likely candidates, including Scott Dadich, vice president of editorial platforms and design at Condé Nast; Bob Cohn, editorial director of Atlantic Digital; and Gary Wolf, a contributing editor to Wired and author of the 2003 book "Wired: A Romance that details the company’s rapid ascension to prestige in the magazine publishing world."