New York Times Company CEO Janet Robinson will step down from her position at the end of the month, the company announced today. The company said it would begin searching internally and externally for a replacement, and that in the interim, chairman and New York Times’ publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. will assume CEO duties. In addition, Robinson will serve as a paid consultant for one year, the Times reported.
Prior to being named CEO, Robinson served as senior vice president for newspaper operations and later as chief operating officer. “The company has been my home for 28 years, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many outstanding professionals over the years,” she wrote in a message to the staff. “At the same time, the company’s course is set, and I am excited by new opportunities that await me.”
In his own email announcing the departure, Sulzberger praised Robinson for her successful campaign to “reposition the Times as a truly national newspaper." He wrote, “The decision to create a national edition changed the fortunes for the company. It took huge courage and vision on Janet’s part to create and to successfully implement our national edition.”
Robinson, however, conceded that she has had her share of difficulties in her seven years as CEO, much of which was caused by the country’s economic climate and changing tides in the publishing industry. Since she was named CEO in late 2004, the company’s share price dropped from $35.23 to just $7.54 this morning, according to data from the Times.
“Obviously, the last few years have been tough as, together, we have navigated one of the most difficult periods in publishing history,” she wrote. “It is probably an understatement to say that transitioning from a traditional print journalism model to the digital world has been an enormous challenge.”
At the time of the announcement, Times Company spokesman Robert Christie had no comment on why Robinson would be stepping down, or on any potential replacement, the Times said.