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Fortune editor Leaf to depart, O’Keefe named acting editor

May 28, 2021

Posted by Chris Roush

Clifton Leaf

Fortune editor in chief Clifton Leaf is leaving the publication, and Brian O’Keefe has been named acting editor.

“I have valued my partnership with Cliff enormously, and look forward to working more closely with Brian,” said CEO Alan Murray in an email. He disclosed the change in an email to the staff on Thursday.

The publication has been pivoting under a new owner, with just six print editions scheduled for 2021, down from 2020. It’s been focusing on its online content and its events.

Leaf was the 18th editor since Fortune was founded in 1930 by Henry R. Luce. Before becoming editor in 2017, he had been Fortune’s deputy editor, where he oversaw the editorial staff and directed the print magazine. He is the founding co-chair of the Fortune Brainstorm Health conference, now in its second year, and is the author of one of the brand’s eight newsletters, Brainstorm Health Daily.

Previously, Leaf served as a guest editor for the New York Times op-ed page and Sunday Review, and was executive editor at the Wall Street Journal’s SmartMoney magazine and at Fortune, where he worked as an editor from 2000 to 2007.

O’Keefe has been a deputy editor of the magazine since 2019. He rejoined Fortune as deputy editor after a stint as IBM’s editor-in-chief of its Institute for Business Value. He was previously a Fortune staffer for 18 years.

He has been helping to manage the editorial staff and story assignments.

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