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2012 October 19

WSJ. Celebrates Innovators (Plus Kristina O'Neill's Big Debut!)

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Kristina O'Neill Kristina O'Neill
Patrick McMullan
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(NEW YORK) The second annual WSJ. Innovator of the Year Awards took over the MoMA last night, bringing out a fascinating and talent-laden slew of gamechangers, from classroom crusaders (Eric Eisner) to the master of 140 characters (Twitter founder Jack Dorsey) to this year's breakout design darlings (the sister act behind The Row). Also gamechanging: the appointment of Kristina O'Neill as WSJ.'s new editor just a day prior to the awards. 

Besides O'Neill's big WSJ. debut, a few highlights from the half-dozen presenter/honoree duos that spoke once the beet carpaccio and goat cheese ravioli was tucked away and the entrees (tenderloin or sea bass) were underway: firstly,
Anna Wintour presenting the Design award to former colleague Patrick Kinmonth. "I think it is safe to say that my arrival at British Vogue was not the happiest year of my life, but Patrick justly celebrated his boundless tact and legendary Anglo-Irish charm; he was the very first person to actually speak with me," Wintour recounted. "Unfortunately, it was to tell me that I had no manners."  

Superstar producer
Jane Rosenthal then bestowed the Fashion award upon the Olsens, praising their "intuition to just the right thing at just the right time." (Indeed, 2012 has been such a blockbuster year for the duo...) "Jane also happens to be one of our favorite clients!" the sisters shared while accepting the accolade. Other pairings: Wang Shu accepting the Architecture award from Paola Antonelli, Theaster Gates honored by Anne Pasternak, and Ray Chambers declaring Dorsey "the closest we have to a capitalist Buddha" while giving the Twitter and Square phenom the Technology title. 

Without further ado, O'Neill reveals how she caught wind of her upcoming job and has plenty of kind words regarding her ex-boss. Just don't expect her to divulge all her WSJ.-helming tricks yet, alas...

How did you find out about your new gig, Kristina? 
I was on a layover, on my way to Grand Cayman [Islands] for a wedding over the weekend, when Mike Miller [deputy managing editor at The Wall Street Journal] called and shared the great news. I was in the perfect place to make a big decision, with a view of the Caribbean and a cocktail in my hand! 

Was it hard to leave Bazaar?
Bazaar has been my home for 12 years, so yes! It's a bittersweet moment in my career, but it's one that my friends and mentors fully support. I knew they'd obviously be thrilled for me. 

What will you miss about Bazaar?
I'll miss Glenda and the entire team. They're my best friends. I wish them luck, and the exciting thing about Bazaar and what made it such an awesome place to work was that Glenda believes in her team and supports them wholeheartedly—and really lets them fly.

Do you have any advice for your exec editor successor at 
Be nice, and be thoughtful! It's a very happy team.   

What was the edit test like to nab the job at WSJ.
Oh, no! I can't reveal that!

Who's your dream WSJ. cover subject? 
I can't give away any secrets yet... 

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