“Not to get too emo, but my mom died when she was 49 and last year I turned 49,” Leive told The Times. “I felt like I have been given this gift of so much more life and I wanted to do something with it.” She insists that she is "not going to another big media job or to a similar position at another company," but hints that next steps are already in the works.
During her tenure at Glamour, Leive turned the magazine from a publication to a full-fledged operation with initiatives like its annual Women of the Year awards. For its 75th anniversary in 2014, Leive lead its redesign, doubling-down on fashion coverage and pushing for content that was unabashedly feminist. Despite some criticism over the years for missing the mark, as Anna Wintour said in a statement, "She expanded Glamour from a beautiful monthly print magazine into a relevant brand in digital, video and social media, successfully laying the groundwork for a new generation of leaders and audiences."
In a letter to staffers obtained by WWD, Leive said: “I’m writing to share some bittersweet news: I’ve made the decision to leave Glamour by the end of this year. You all know better than anyone how much I have loved my time here — but after 16 years, I feel the moment is right to pass this baton over to the next person ready to run this particular race….As for what’s next for me: I’ve loved being in conversation with women over the last decade, and I’m excited to go deep into projects that stand to improve women’s lives. This is an electric moment for women and activism, and I plan to be part of that.”
Leive's resignation is just the latest in a string of industry shake-ups over the past few weeks. On September 7, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter announced he would be leaving his post at the end of 2017; on Monday, Robbie Myers, who headed up Elle for the past 17 years, was succeeded by Project Runway judge and Marie Claire creative director Nina Garcia.
Leive's replacement has not yet been named, but given the reaction on social media, people aren't just wondering who's next — they're wondering what the hell is happening in fashion publishing. The New York Times' Vanessa Friedman said it best: "The top of a glossy magazine masthead may be the most dangerous professional perch right now."