The New York Times backed up its push for a digital future by naming Mark Thompson, the outgoing director general of the BBC, as the paper’s new president and chief executive.

The Times issued a statement yesterday saying: “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.”

Thompson, 55, will start work in November.

The Times, which is America’s most prestigious newspaper as well as a growing online news power, said it had recruited Thompson for his ability to help develop non-traditional news products.

The so-called “Gray Lady” was once synonymous with a somewhat stodgy, if reliable broadsheet daily newspaper.

However, the organisation now boasts a successful, high-tech subscription Web site, cutting edge blogs, and video production.

Thompson, who oversaw the British Broadcasting Corporation’s multiple platforms, is expected to bolster that development.

“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,” Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., chairman of the Times Company, said.

“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.”

(This article was published on August 15, 2012)
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