The New York Times named Meredith Kopit Levien as its new president and CEO today. Effective Sept. 8, she’ll also join the publisher’s board of directors.
Kopit Levien joined the Times in 2013 as its head of advertising, after serving as chief revenue officer of Forbes Media. She quickly rose through the ranks at the Times and, in 2015, was named its evp and CRO, overseeing ad and subscription revenue.
In 2017, she became the Times’ chief operating officer and executive vice president. In a statement, publisher A.G. Sulzberger said the selection committee unanimously decided on Kopit Levien, pointing to her vision for transforming the Times’ ad business and growing subscriptions.
Kopit Levien succeeds Mark Thompson, who’s stepping down after holding the CEO role for eight years. Since joining in 2012, Thompson became an outspoken critic of Facebook and was an early vocal predictor of how the Covid-19 pandemic would affect digital advertising.
“I’ve chosen this moment to step down because we have achieved everything I set out to do when I joined The Times Company eight years ago—and because I know that in Meredith, I have an outstanding successor who is ready to lead the company on to its next chapter,” said Thompson in a statement.
In all, the Times boasts more than 4 million digital-only news subscriptions, more than 5 million digital-only subscriptions to specialty products (the crossword, NYT Cooking and audio), and more than 6 million total digital and print subscribers.
“At a time when the free press remains under pressure, the Times will continue to invest in and defend the high-quality, independent journalism on which our democracy depends,” Kopit Levien said in a statement.
Adweek named Kopit Levien, 49, Executive of the Year in our publishing Hot List last year, citing The New York Times’ ad and subscription growth. Her media diet at the time included listening to The Daily at 1.5x speed while running, and poking around the Times’ mobile app as she went to bed.
In an interview at the time, she said the Times would focus on expanding into new formats and supporting the newsroom’s journalism. “The continued investment in the journalism—the gathering of news and presentation of that news and the sheer number of journalists—has probably been the single biggest contribution to the company’s success as a brand,” she said.