The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) announced today that BBC Director-General Mark Thompson will become its next president and CEO. He will also become a member of the Company’s Board of Directors.
Mr. Thompson, 55, will report to the Board of Directors and to Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., chairman of the Times Company. He is relocating to New York and is expected to start his new role in November.
“Mark is a gifted executive with strong credentials whose leadership at the BBC helped it to extend its trusted brand identity into new digital products and services,” said Mr. Sulzberger. “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.”
“The New York Times is one of the world’s greatest news providers and a media brand of immense future potential both in the U.S. and around the world. It is a real privilege to be asked to join the Times Company as it embarks on the next chapter in its history,” said Mr. Thompson. “I’m particularly excited to be coming to The New York Times Company as it extends its influence digitally and globally. I look forward to working with the board, Arthur and his highly talented management team to build on the success that has already been achieved and to explore new ways of bringing journalism of exceptional quality, integrity and depth to readers and users everywhere.”
At the BBC, Mr. Thompson developed innovative new products and generated new revenue streams on multiple platforms. The businesses he supervised included BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, a fast-growing media and entertainment company designed to maximize BBC profits by creating, acquiring and developing media content and media brands around the world. It has annual revenue of approximately $1.5 billion.
Most recently, he has led the BBC’s multimedia coverage of the London Olympic Games, coverage which has won near universal acclaim at home and around the world. While reaching historically high audiences in TV and radio, the BBC also used London 2012 to pioneer multiple new digital services and technologies.
Mr. Thompson has been responsible for the BBC’s services across television, radio and online including 10 national TV channels and 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations and an extensive global Web site. The BBC World Service broadcasts to the world on radio, on TV and online, providing news and information in 27 languages. With a global workforce of more than 20,000 people, the BBC produces over 400,000 hours of content each year.
From 2002 to 2004, he was CEO of Channel 4, a publicly-owned, commercially-funded UK-based public service broadcaster that provides content across television, film and digital media. Mr. Thompson was recruited back to the BBC as Director-General in 2004.