Guardian hires Aron Pilhofer from NYT

Aron Pilhofer will be The Guardian’s executive editor of digital, the Guardian announced Monday. Pilhofer was the Times’ associate managing editor for digital strategy.

The hire follows the Times’ attempts to hire Guardian U.S. Editor-in-Chief Janine Gibson to run its digital operation, a process that by some accounts played a role in Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.’s decision to dismiss Jill Abramson as editor. Gibson said she declined.

Pilhofer will move to London “over the summer,” The Guardian says.

Here’s Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet’s note to staff about Pilhofer’s departure:

Dear Colleagues,

It is my unhappy duty to announce the departure of Aron Pilhofer, associate managing editor for digital strategy and a digital pioneer at The Times. He will join The Guardian in London as executive editor of digital, it announced, to help “drive The Guardian’s digital transition.”

We are sorry to see him do there what he has done so well here. Aron joined The Times in 2005, and two years later helped found Interactive News, an innovative team that has grown to include 40 developers, social media experts, comment moderators and a growing and useful analytics group.

He’s also a near professional yakker, which has helped us build the deep and talented bench he leaves behind. He took some grief for jetting off to one conference or another (as well as for his posh — guess that’s the right word where he’s going — hobbies of tennis and sailing). But he served as a model ambassador for The Times as he scooped up the latest from elsewhere.

He’s taking a big job. We will miss him but wish him very well.

Dean

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