Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of Times Co., announced late Tuesday that Mark Thompson, the BBC's outgoing director-general, will be the new CEO of The New York Times Co.
“It is a real privilege to be asked to join the Times Company as it embarks on the next chapter in its history,” Thompson said. “I’m particularly excited to be coming to The New York Times Company as it extends its influence digitally and globally.”
In March 2012, Thompson announced he would leave the BBC after the London Olympics:
"I believe that an appropriate time for me to hand over to a successor and to step down as Director-General of the BBC would be the autumn of this year, once the Olympics and the rest of the amazing summer of 2012 are over."
Thompson started his career at the BBC as a production trainee in 1979, according to Thompson's BBC bio page.
Thompson replaces Janet L. Robinson, who left the New York Times in Dec. 2011.
Robinson's sudden retirement from the newspaper was a shock to many in the industry, including those at the New York Times. Some speculated she left because of a personal conflict with Sulzberger.
In a statement today quoted in the Boston Globe, Sulzberger said Thompson was “a gifted and experienced executive with strong credentials whose leadership at the BBC helped it to extend its trusted brand identity into new digital products and services.”
"Our board concluded that Mark’s experience and his accomplishments at the BBC made him the ideal candidate to lead the Times Company at this moment in time when we are highly focused on growing our business through digital and global expansion.”
Thompson will assume his role at the New York Times in Nov. and will sit on the company's board of directors.