Fortune acting editor in chief Brian O’Keefe sent out the following on Friday:
It gives me tremendous pleasure to announce two very well-deserved promotions at Fortune. As of today, Kristen Bellstrom is promoted from the role of Features Editor to Executive Editor, and Rachel Lobdell is promoted from Digital Editor to Editorial Director.
When Kristen joined Fortune in 2015 to take over as the lead writer of the Broadsheet, the fledgling newsletter had fewer than 15,000 subscribers. Today, under Kristen’s leadership, it has a passionate following of more than 100,000 daily readers. Kristen is instrumental to the success of the Most Powerful Women franchise in a multitude of other ways, as well: This fall marks her fifth year co-leading the list and editorial package with Beth Kowitt and she co-chairs the flagship MPW summit and MPW Next Gen events. But Kristen’s accomplishments extend well beyond MPW. If there’s been a single common thread in Fortune’s award-winning journalism over the past couple of years, it’s how many of the winning pieces were edited by Kristen. Stories that she’s shepherded have won SABEW, New York Press Club, Headliner and Excellence in Financial Journalism awards, just to name a few honors. Kristen is as talented a writer and reporter as she is an editor. Her piece on “How the Leather Jacket Became the New Power Blazer” shaped wardrobe choices on the hit HBO show “Succession” and her award-winning investigative story “Breach of Trust,” co-written with Beth Kowitt, prompted the resignation of then-Tronc CEO Michael Ferro. As Executive Editor, Kristen will continue to expand our digital features desk and take on a bigger role in overseeing in planning and overseeing our core editorial franchises and print magazine issues.
Given how much she’s accomplished in her tenure already, and how integral she has become to virtually everything we do, it’s sometimes easy to forget that Rachel joined Fortune just two years ago this month. She is a manager and organizer extraordinaire, of course, coordinating efforts between the sales, conference, tech, and edit teams, as well as taking the lead on recruiting and onboarding new hires for the edit team. But Rachel has also proven herself to be an exceptional strategic thinker and a font of ideas. Last year, while helping us to navigate through the shock of the pandemic, Rachel conceived and executed the “How to Reopen” package, which was not only a huge success on its own but also provided a blueprint for a series of new, ambitious digital packages this year. She has led our coverage of COVID-19 and the 2020 election (and its aftermath), and has taken ownership of the 40U40 franchise, propelling it to new heights digitally. And she edited Karen Yuan’s SABEW-award-winning story on “The changing future of Chinese-American restaurants.” Rachel has also fostered a new culture of innovation at Fortune. She created our first pop-up newsletter, Outbreak, and recently introduced the idea of edit “theme weeks” to help channel our best journalism into subscription-driving edit packages. As Editorial Director, Rachel will continue to oversee our digital journalism while taking on an even bigger role (if such a thing is possible) in guiding our overall editorial strategy.
Please join me in congratulating Kristen and Rachel on their exciting new roles. Fortune is indeed fortunate to have such a pair of talented, dynamic journalists.