Playboy Reorganizes Publishing Division; Cooper Hefner Is Back

Jul 21, 2016 12:11 PM PST

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — More organizational changes were made at Playboy Enterprises’ publishing arm.

Cooper Hefner, the son of founder and editor-in-chief Hugh Hefner, is back at the media company after departing earlier this year.

Cooper Hefner will take over the title of chief creative officer at Playboy, “focusing on the creative strategy around our continuing transformation into a millennial facing lifestyle brand and the reinvention of our experiences for that audience,” according to a leaked internal company memo disseminated yesterday.

In addition, Cory Jones, who held the title of chief content officer, was let go, with his role reportedly being assumed by current Editorial Director Jason Buhrmester, who will now take on the added role of head of content and leading a merged Playboy.com/Playboy magazine staff.

The internal memo, sent out by Playboy interim CEO Ben Kohn, was published by The Wrap today, which also said that there were other worker cuts at Playboy.

Kohn is a partner in Rizvi Traverse, which assumed control of the company in 2011, with Hugh Hefner continuing to own about one-third of it.

“I strongly believe that this new structure will ensure that our most powerful revenue driver, licensing, and the public expression of Playboy, our media and experiences divisions, will work together in a way that creates opportunities for both areas that have not been possible before,” Kohn said.

Cooper Hefner’s new role comes after his power was reduced at Playboy and he started up his own media company, Hop.media. (Hop is an acronym for Hefner Operations and Productions.)

After he departed Playboy, he ripped it for its decision to cut nudity in its U.S. magazine starting with its March issue.

“Playboy had made a number of decisions that didn’t make sense to me prior to my involvement, but that was one of the major motivations of getting involved in the first place,” Cooper Hefner said in a letter to Hop.media readers today.

“I assumed I would be a part of the team that rebranded one of the most recognizable companies in the world. I wanted to participate in constructing a relevant brand strategy, one that Playboy could introduce to my generation. It became clear in the coming years that would never be possible under Playboy’s leadership, so I protested.”

With yesterday’s announcement bringing Cooper Hefner back to Playboy, the company also said Hop.media will become one of Playboy’s sub-brands.

Cooper Hefner said: “New leadership has stepped in and a team with a vision has been put in place. [I] will participate in delivering a new Playboy — a Playboy understood by Millennials, like me.”

“This chapter in the company’s history will be thrilling, challenging, but so rewarding and I am incredibly grateful to be a part of the team that re-introduces a brand that remains such a substantial part of my family’s legacy,” he said.

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