Wired Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson Steps Down to Run Robotics Startup

Chris Anderson, Wired magazine’s editor-in-chief for nearly 12 years, is leaving to spend more time with his robots.

A physicist by training, Anderson became a media boldface name through best-selling books about the digital “bits” economy (The Long Tail and Free) and more recently, the physical world of “atoms” (Makers). On Friday, he announced he’s making the same move in real life, from a career turning bits into words and ideas to CEO of 3D Robotics, a company he co-founded in 2009 that turns atoms into drones.

“This is an opportunity for me to pursue an entrepreneurial dream,” Anderson said in a statement. “I’m confident that Wired’s mission to influence and chronicle the digital revolution is stronger than ever and will continue to expand and evolve.”

Anderson joined Wired in 2001, taking the helm of the iconic digital brand just as the dot-com bubble popped.

During his tenure, the magazine moved away from its counter-cultural roots and into a more mainstream current anchored by business coverage, big ideas and exceptional long-form narrative features. Circulation grew from 500,000 to 825,000. It won eight National Magazine Awards, including the top prize for General Excellence in 2005, 2007 and 2009. In 2010, Adweek named Wired its magazine of the decade.

Condé Nast editorial director Thomas J. Wallace will lead the search for Anderson’s replacement.

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