The New York Times Co. is adding two technology heavyweights to its board of directors: Joichi Ito, an early investor in Twitter, Flickr and Kickstarter, and Brian McAndrews, a venture capitalist who specializes in funding technology start-up companies.
The newspaper company is in the midst of a digital transformation, as it tries to increase the revenue it garners online and through tablet computer applications. In March last year, the Times started charging people for online or mobile access once they read a certain number of stories. A year later, it had 472,000 paying digital subscribers.
The appointments of Ito and McAndrews bring the number of board members to 13. The Times now has four directors with significant technology backgrounds. The other two are Doreen Toben, former chief financial officer at Verizon Communications Inc., and David Liddle, a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm U.S. Venture Partners.
Ito, 46, has been director of the Media Lab at MIT since September 2011 and was formerly the CEO of Creative Commons, a nonprofit that helps copyright owners license their material for free use. Ito helped establish the first commercial Internet service provider in Japan.
McAndrews, 53, is a partner of Madrona Venture Group LLC, a venture capital firm that funds technology companies. He served as senior vice president for advertiser and publisher solutions at Microsoft Corp. He had been CEO of digital marketing company aQuantive Inc., which Microsoft acquired in 2007.
In addition to helping guide the company, Ito and McAndrews will contribute to the search for a new CEO, the Times Co. said. Former chief executive Janet Robinson resigned in December.