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From St. Kitts to Google's Helm: Vanessa Kingori's Inspiring Journey

Former Conde Nast's Chief Business Officer Vanessa Kingori  wearing a beige suit and red lipstick.

Vanessa Kingori/Instagram

In the dynamic world of media and technology, Vanessa Kingori stands out as a trailblazer, breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings. Born in Kenya, raised on the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts, and later finding her place in London, Kingori's journey from Condé Nast to Google exemplifies the power of diversity and resilience as she prepares to take on the role of Managing Director of Tech, Media, and Telecoms at Google in 2024.


Embracing Change and Diversity


Growing up on the picturesque island of Saint Kitts, Kingori's childhood was marked by the richness of Caribbean culture. However, her family's move to London introduced her to a world of diverse experiences and adaptation. Reflecting on her upbringing, Kingori shared with We Are The City, “Needing to adapt so much at an early age has helped me not fear change, it’s exhilarating.”


Kingori describes herself as a child of Windrush, as her mother, a nurse from St. Kitts, met Vanessa's Kenyan father in London. Her diverse background became a source of strength, shaping her unique perspective on life and business.


Pioneering Change in Publishing


Vanessa Kingori's career journey is a testament to her resilience and determination. In 2015, she made history as the first woman and first Black publisher for Condé Nast Britain when she took on the role at British GQ. Under her leadership, digital revenue doubled, and the GQ website underwent a successful mobile-first relaunch.


In 2017, Kingori made history once again, becoming the first woman in the 105-year history of British Vogue to serve as the publishing director. Her tenure brought unprecedented revenue growth and profitability to the iconic magazine. Recognizing her exceptional leadership, she was appointed Chief Business Officer at Condé Nast Britain in 2021, overseeing renowned brands such as Vogue, GQ, Wired, Vanity Fair, and Glamour.

Throughout her remarkable career, Kingori has embraced the power of being different. She believes that conformity is the enemy of progress and creativity in business. In a Business of Fashion Podcast interview, she emphasized, “Everywhere I've been, I have had to get comfortable with being a bit of an outsider, which often means the decisions I come to are different from the normal consensus.” Her success at Condé Nast Britain, marked by a strategic restructuring that led to a 27% rise in revenue in 2022, underscores the impact of challenging the status quo. Kingori's commitment to diversity and innovation has positioned her as a thought leader in the industry.

Vanessa Kingori at her last event in her current role - the 2023 British Fashion Awards

Trusting Intuition and Driving Change at Google


As Vanessa Kingori embarks on her new role as the Managing Director of Tech, Media, and Telecoms at Google, she brings a wealth of experience and a commitment to positive, transformational leadership. Her strategic shift to Google, amidst a trio of female senior executive hires, signals a new era for the tech giant.


“We are living through an inflection point that will undoubtedly continue to evolve every business, career, and our lives more generally,” Kingori stated. “The lure of pivoting my career to apply my love of positive, transformational leadership at this key moment of change at Google feels urgent and is a dream realized.”

Vanessa Kingori at Google Headquarters

Vanessa Kingori at Google


Reporting to Debbie Weinstein, Vice President and Managing Director of Google UK and Ireland, Kingori is set to focus on driving growth through AI-powered technology and advertising solutions. Her vision is clear: to foster deep relationships, learning, and partnerships that create positive outcomes for all in the era of AI.


Inspiring the Next Generation


Vanessa Kingori's story serves as an inspiration, especially for young people of Caribbean heritage aspiring to make a mark in the dynamic fields of technology and media. Her journey reminds us that diversity is not only a source of strength but a catalyst for innovation and progress.

In a recent Instagram post she stated, "My younger self would have struggled to believe I would have had the chance or ability to enter and lead at not one, but two leading, hard to penetrate institutions. Particularly as Conde Nast and Google are at such different ends of the spectrum. The truth is that the women who raised me always believed."


As she takes the helm at Google, Kingori continues to break barriers, challenge conformity, and pave the way for a more inclusive and dynamic future. Her legacy extends beyond the boardroom, reaching into the hearts and minds of those who dare to dream big, irrespective of their background.


In the ever-evolving landscape of media and technology, Vanessa Kingori's journey stands as a beacon of hope, proving that the intersection of diverse experiences and unwavering determination can propel individuals to unprecedented heights.

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