Alex MacCallum, who heads up audience development for The New York Times, will add the company's video unit to her portfolio, according to a memo from Executive Editor Dean Baquet and New York Times CEO Mark Thompson.

MacCallum, who oversees the distribution of New York Times journalism on a variety of platforms, has led an expansion of The Times' social media efforts since she joined the company's newsroom. Her appointment followed a much-discussed innovation report that showed The Times was lagging behind some of its digital competitors in several facets of social engagement.

In the memo, Baquet and Thompson called MacCallum "a strong leader who has a deep appreciation for the mission of The Times."

We have spent several months rethinking and refocusing our video efforts and searching for the right leader for this vital area. We both believe that Alex’s strong industry background and experience working in positions across The Times makes her perfectly suited to succeed in this key role. We expect her to step in and continue to shape a new vision for both our video journalism and our video business on all platforms.

Her new title will be assistant editor and senior vice president for video, according to the memo.

In The New York Times video unit, MacCallum inherits an initiative that is in flux. Baquet announced earlier this month the division would be restructured, a process that would involve buyouts. In July, the paper announced it was revamping its video section under the temporary supervision of masthead editor Steve Duenes, who inherited the job from Bruce Headlam.

After MacCallum joined The Times' newsroom last year last year, New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan called her "an unusual hire, for uncommon times." MacCallum is a digital media veteran, having served as one of the first three employees at The Huffington Post and in several capacities at The New York Times.

Here's the memo:

Dear Colleagues,

We are very happy to announce that Alex MacCallum will assume the leadership of video at The Times when she returns from maternity leave in January. She will also continue to oversee audience development.

As you know, we highlighted video as a key editorial and commercial priority in Our Path Forward. We are delighted that it will now be led by one of our most creative and effective colleagues. In a little more than a year as head of audience development, Alex built an expert team of growth, social, search and community editors, ushered in the smart use of analytics in the newsroom, broadened The Times’s use of a range of social platforms, and worked successfully to deepen our readers’ engagement with Times journalism.

Alex is a strong leader who has a deep appreciation for the mission of The Times and embodies the spirit of collaboration that we are working to extend throughout the company. Her new title will be assistant editor and senior vice president, video. Alex will report jointly to Dean and Meredith for video while for audience development she will report, as now, to Kinsey for the newsroom and to Andy for the editorial department.

Audience development remains a top priority for the newsroom and we will continue to build on the excellent work of the previous year. Justin Bank will assume day-to-day leadership of the audience team and will continue to report to Alex, who will provide strategic oversight.

We have spent several months rethinking and refocusing our video efforts and searching for the right leader for this vital area. We both believe that Alex’s strong industry background and experience working in positions across The Times makes her perfectly suited to succeed in this key role. We expect her to step in and continue to shape a new vision for both our video journalism and our video business on all platforms.

Alex will assume leadership of a group that has had several big wins recently. These include the extraordinary work by our video journalists from Paris and the launch of NYT VR earlier this month, which, as Wired put it, was “VR’s big mainstream moment.”

An expansive team of people throughout the organization stepped up to keep our video strong and vital while the search for permanent leadership played out. We thank each and every one of you.

Over the next year we expect video will continue to become an even more central part of the experience of The Times for our readers and users.

Please join us in congratulating Alex on this important new role.

Mark and Dean