Business and Policy Leader Events

Janet Robinson, President and CEO, The New York Times Company Gives Students the “Real News”

When trying to make a career change from elementary school teacher to publishing industry executive, Janet Robinson got used to rejection. She didn’t let the word “no” stop her, and in 1983 she was hired by The New York Times Company as an account executive for Tennis Magazine. Ms. Robinson’s determination to succeed in the publishing industry persevered over the years as she rose through the ranks, and culminated in 2004 when she was appointed President and CEO of The New York Times Company.

At Stern’s CEO Series, Janet Robinson told students and alumni that she decided to change careers because she had always been interested in media and publishing and knew after 12 years of teaching that is was time to make a move. She discussed her current role and responsibilities as President and CEO, which include overseeing the operations of the Company’s numerous subsidiaries and integrating the newly acquired companies, most recently, into the Company’s portfolio of products and services. On managing a diverse organization, Ms. Robinson emphasized the importance of separating church and state with regard to the business operations and editorial department. She spoke candidly about when The New York Times journalists have been the “news”, citing the recent Judith Miller CIA leak case, and reinforced the paper’s commitment to upholding journalistic integrity. New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg, who covers media and formerly covered education, interviewed Ms. Robinson and also shared his perspective as a journalist on the editorial issues that were raised during the discussion.

Ms. Robinson offered the following career advice to students aspiring to be future leaders:
  • Learn to live with rejection – it makes you a stronger person
  • Hard work really does pay off
  • Be passionate about your work and you will succeed

Following the interview, there was a reception in the Abbe-Bogen Faculty Lounge, which gave students and alumni an opportunity to speak one-on-one with Ms. Robinson.

Watch Ms. Robinson's interview in its entirety.