New York Times snaps up BBC boss

Outgoing BBC director general Mark Thompson is to become president and chief executive of the New York Times Company, the US firm has said.

Mr Thompson, 55, will relocate to New York and will begin his new role in November.

Arthur Sulzberger, chairman of the company, said: "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."

He continued: "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."

Mr Thompson announced in March that he would step down from his role at the BBC - which he has held since 2004 - following the London Olympics.

His replacement will be George Entwistle, who has previously been a current affairs programme-maker and for the past year has been in charge of the Corporation's TV output as head of BBC Vision.

The New York Times company owns The New York Times newspaper, the International Herald Tribune and The Boston Globe.

Mr Thompson said: "The New York Times is one of the world's greatest news providers and a media brand of immense future potential both in the US and around the world. It is a real privilege to be asked to join the Times Company as it embarks on the next chapter in its history."

"I look forward to working with the board, Arthur and his highly talented management team to build on the success that has already been achieved and to explore new ways of bringing journalism of exceptional quality, integrity and depth to readers and users everywhere."

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten said: "I am sure that Mark will prove a real asset to the New York Times. He is a hugely experienced media executive and will bring insight, flair and drive to the job. I wish him the very best of luck in his new role."