NEW YORK—Keith Hernandez, the former vice president of brand strategy at BuzzFeed, has been named president of Slate, effective Nov. 2. Jacob Weisberg, chairman of The Slate Group, and Dan Check, vice chairman, announced the appointment this morning.
Hernandez comes to Slate from BuzzFeed, where he led revenue and brand strategy efforts for teams in North America and Australia. Overseeing a large sales team across the United States, Canada, and Australia, Hernandez established and scaled partnerships with Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Anheuser-Busch, Heineken, Revlon, L’Oréal, and other premier brands. A top revenue producer for the brand since 2012, Hernandez established BuzzFeed’s global sales operations in Canada and the United Kingdom, and extended its footprint in Australia. Before BuzzFeed, Hernandez held sales and leadership positions at leading digital brands including Blip Networks, Vevo, Microsoft, and the Onion.
“We came across many impressive candidates during our search, and Keith was, by far, the right leader for the role,” said Weisberg. “Besides being incredibly smart and having a track record of great client relationships, he helped to grow a brand that we, at Slate, have admired since its inception. His passion and insight into the digital landscape are going to be tremendous advantages to our leadership team.”
“Slate has excelled for years at making people stop, think, and share,” said Hernandez. “I’m thrilled to lead a brand whose distinct voice is a breath of fresh air in the congested digital space and whose point of view stands out against the newsfeed clutter. With Slate as one of the early publishing partners on Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News, the brand is better positioned now than ever before, and I’m looking forward to helping guide it into the future.”
Hernandez added: “I have so much respect for the team at BuzzFeed and have thoroughly enjoyed working to help build the brand’s reputation in the marketplace.”
“We’re especially delighted that Keith innately understands how blending technology and creative can amplify clients’ messages,” said Check. “Keith has been a pioneering figure in the worlds of native advertising and social media since he joined BuzzFeed in 2012 just as social and custom were beginning to take shape, and he has a true grasp of how to best blend creative strategy with custom content to craft a distinct voice for his partners.”
As Slate president, Hernandez will ramp up revenue strategy across advertising, marketing, and creative services with an eye toward bringing new global brands into the Slate fold. He will also look to activate new and existing clients across multiple platforms in order to tap into Slate’s large influencer audience, whether through editorial content, video, podcasting, or custom programs.
Hernandez lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.