(CN) — The publisher of the New York Times Company, Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., announced Thursday he is stepping down after 25 years, but will remain as chairman of the board of directors.
He will be succeeded as publisher by his son, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger. The ascension of the younger Sulzberger, who is known as A. G., comes just over a year after he was named deputy publisher of The Times.
In a statement, the elder Sulzberger said that as he steps aside, he has never been “prouder than I have ever been of the strength, independence and integrity of this institution.
“My colleagues – the women and men who have devoted themselves to producing and distributing the world’s best journalism – have made my job so fulfilling and I am forever in their debt,” he said.
Sulzberger went on to say that his son “has proven himself to be a powerful force for change, deeply dedicated to moving the company forward as the pace of transformation in our business continues to speed up.
“I am completely confident that he – and his cousins who are working alongside him – will dedicate themselves to preserving the excellence at The Times that my family has been committed to for over 120 years,” the outgoing publisher said.
Arthur O. Sulzberger presided during an era of rapid change, brought on by the rise of digital media. In 1996, he oversaw The Times moving online and the paper becoming a digital presence.
A.G. Sulzberger was one of the architects of The Times’s digital transformation and was the principal author of the 2014 Innovation Report, which focused on growing and engaging The Times’s digital audience.
He has also been one of the driving forces behind The Times’s business strategy, including the shift to a subscription-first business model.
In its statement Thursday the company said it has a “global audience of more than 130 million people and 3.5 million paid subscriptions”, more than The Times has ever had. About 2.5 million of those subscriptions is digital-only.
Speaking of his son, he says that A.G. Sulzberger would be a forward-thinking leader who would uphold the paper’s standards during a time of rapid transformation.
But the younger Sulzberger told Times staffers on Thursday that he does not expect to shake things up early in his tenure.
“I don’t expect there to be some flurry of change,” he said.
A. G. Sulzberger will be the sixth member of the Ochs-Sulzberger family to serve as publisher since its patriarch, Adolph S. Ochs, purchased the paper in a bankruptcy sale in 1896.