Emerson Collective, the charitable organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, has announced a majority acquisition of The Atlantic. David G. Bradley, the current chairman and owner has said he’ll remain at the company for at least 3-5 years. Bradley will own a minority stake, which will most likely be assumed by Emerson Collective when he retires.
“Against the odds, The Atlantic is prospering,” Bradley wrote in his memo. “While I will stay at the helm some years, the most consequential decision of my career now is behind me: Who next will take stewardship of this 160-year-old national treasure? To me, the answer, in the form of Laurene, feels incomparably right.”
The magazine, founded 4 years before the civil war, was picked up in 1999 by Bradley for only $10 million. Since then, the politics and arts rag has transformed into a powerful digital media company, now owning millennial-focused publications such as Quartz. However, Quartz and Atlantic Media’s other brands will remain solely owned by Bradley.
After realizing his sons weren’t interested in owning The Atlantic, Bradley compiled a list of over 600 potential suitors, but only ever reached out to Jobs. Laurene, the wife of the late apple founder Steve Jobs, founded the Emerson Collective to promote immigration and education reform. The organization aims to “bring about equality for all people; to illuminate and defend the American idea; to celebrate American culture and literature; and to cover our marvelous, and sometimes messy, democratic experiment.”
Because of this change in ownership and the challenges being faced by print media, Bradley finished his internal memo saying “What I loved about Laurene from the first is that her confidence was forged on a different coast. And, if anything, her ambition is greater than my own. Let’s make it our work to prove the wisdom of our era wrong. And when my time comes to leave, that would be a happy note on which to say ‘good-bye.’”