Sulzberger said: “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.”

At the BBC, Thompson developed innovative new products and generated new revenue streams on multiple platforms. The businesses he supervised included BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, a fast-growing media and entertainment company designed to maximise BBC profits by creating and acquiring global media content and brands. It has annual revenue of approximately $1.5 billion.