The company said Tuesday that Nelson is the first woman in the company's 90-year history to hold the role. She has worked for Time Inc. for 20 years and has been editorial director since 2010. She will assume the top editorial position at the company in January.
Time Inc. is a division of Time Warner and one of the largest media companies in the world, publishing magazines like Time, People and Sports Illustrated.
The company says Nelson is the ideal leader for the business, given her background in print and digital publishing. The company has been trying to generate more revenue from the Internet and mobile devices to offset shrinking print advertising revenue.