Mark Thompson, who announced in March he’d step down as director general of the BBC, is in talks with the New York Times Co. to become its next CEO, Josh Halliday and Dan Sabbagh report in the Guardian.
A source not connected to Thompson said he had had two meetings in London over the past four weeks about the vacant New York Times Company chief executive role – and that the meetings appeared to be part of a “co-ordinated attempt” by the US newspaper publisher to hire Thompson.
Previous CEO Janet Robinson was fired in December. She was awarded an exit package of nearly $24 million after she left the company, and various reports have said she left a “leadership vacuum” in her wake.
In May, Kat Stoeffel described the festering ill feeling in the Times’ newsroom about Robinson’s golden parachute, how long it’s taking to find a new CEO, and the length of time that reporters haven’t had a contract. Joe Hagan wrote a major story in New York magazine about Robinson’s ouster and what he portrayed as agitated relations between the company and the Ochs-Sulzberger family heirs, who control the company through a special class of stock and haven’t received dividends since 2009.
Douglas A. McIntyre writes on 24/7 Wall Street that Times Co. chairman Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. hasn’t had a stellar run as interim CEO: “Shares of [the] company are down 10% so far this year, while the S&P is 7% higher over the same period. That is not much of a performance for a CEO, even if he is temporary.” || Related: Joichi Ito and Brian McAndrews Join The New York Times Company Board of Directors