PopSugar Founder Lisa Sugar Steps Down as President, Will Remain With Group Nine (EXCLUSIVE)

Angelica Marden takes over leadership role at women's lifestyle brand

PopSugar - Lisa Sugar
Courtesy of PopSugar/Group Nine Media

Lisa Sugar, more than 16 years after launching PopSugar as an entertainment blog, has stepped away from day-to-day management of the brand.

Leadership of PopSugar, which was acquired in the fall of 2019 by Discovery-backed Group Nine Media, will be assumed by Angelica Marden — herself a 15-year PopSugar veteran — who has been named president of PopSugar.

Going forward, Lisa Sugar will remain part of the leadership team at Group Nine as the founder of PopSugar. According to Sugar, she is stepping aside to make room for the next generation of leadership.

Sugar said in a statement, “I founded PopSugar more than 15 years ago at the earliest days in digital media. We’ve since grown it to become the No. 1 most-engaged with women’s lifestyle brand globally and I’m so proud of everything that this amazing team has achieved. Angelica has worked across the brand for almost the entire journey and sees our immense future. I am honored to have her lead the charge forward!”

As president, Marden will run all business operations for PopSugar and will report to Group Nine Media CEO Ben Lerer. Marden will be responsible for the company’s business strategy, performance and partnerships. She is based in the company’s San Francisco headquarters.

Group Nine’s all-stock deal valued PopSugar at $300 million, per the Wall Street Journal. Group Nine was formed as a roll-up play in 2016, combining digital media sites Thrillist, The Dodo, NowThis and Seeker; Group Nine subsequently bought comedy studio JASH. The company is headed by Ben Lerer, founder of Thrillist and son of venture-capital investor Ken Lerer.

More recently, Group Nine formed a special-purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC) in late 2020 that raised $230 million in gross proceeds for an acquisition, merger or other business combination with companies in digital media or related segments.

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Eric Guarisco

Lisa Sugar co-founded PopSugar with her husband, Brian Sugar, who now serves as president of Group Nine Media (and is on the board of directors for the Group Nine SPAC).

Marden most recently served as GM for PopSugar since January 2020 and was responsible for editorial operations, audience growth, marketing, and other functions. Before that, she was SVP of content operations, overseeing editorial strategy, partnerships and consumer marketing. Prior to joining PopSugar in 2006, Marden was an editor at the Mill Valley Herald and Link TV as well as a reporter at the Oakland Post.

“Angelica is a natural leader who understands what it takes to continue growing PopSugar in a media environment where audiences’ attention is more fragmented than ever before,” Lerer said in a statement.

Marden commented, “PopSugar is in a league of its own in the women’s lifestyle space and is a brand that I am proud to have spent more than 15 years helping build. Every day, the team creates content, experiences, and products that inspire, entertain and provide real utility to help our audience live their fullest life possible. I am excited to take on this new role and lead the team into this next decade of growth where there is endless opportunity for the brand.”