Boston Globe Media CEO Linda Henry just announced some pretty big news: chief operating officer and chief financial officer Dhiraj Nayar has been promoted to president; Henry herself will be less involved in the business side and more focused on “additional bandwidth to better support our world-class editors”; and she’s aiming for a “North Star” goal of 400,000 digital subscribers for the Globe, which would represent a considerable increase over its current level of about 250,000. Henry has also set a goal of 100,000 paid digital subscribers for Stat, which is Globe Media’s health and medicine publication.
The first thing that strikes me about the circulation goal is that Henry must be planning a significant expansion into parts of New England where the Globe isn’t especially visible. Currently the paper has digital editions focused on Rhode Island and New Hampshire, and has bolstered its coverage of Greater Boston as well. The second is that Henry, who has been fully in charge of the business side since 2020, is planning a significantly different role for herself. We’ll see how that plays out.
Here is the text of Henry’s email to the staff, provided to me a little while ago by a trusted newsroom source:
As CEO, my number one priority is to continue setting us up for long term success. Today, I’m excited to share changes that strengthen our leadership team for increased resilience and adaptability in our ever-evolving business landscape.
I am delighted to announce the elevation of Dhiraj Nayar to the role of President of Boston Globe Media.
Dhiraj joined the Globe in 2018 as CFO, bringing over 20 years of management consulting experience. In 2020, he also became COO and has demonstrated collaborative leadership and dedication to the company’s mission while supporting key areas of our business including printing, distribution, and operations. His strategic insight and ability to balance financial discipline while allowing for growth investments has played an instrumental role in shaping the success and stability of Boston Globe Media.
Before joining Boston Globe Media, Dhiraj worked as a management consultant, advising senior executives at media/information, financial, telecom and private equity companies. He led initiatives at multinationals such as Unilever, Wolters Kluwer, Telstra and American Express. His private equity work included initiatives with Francisco Partners and MacAndrews & Forbes among others. He was the managing director of Meritum Partners, a boutique management consultancy he founded, and was a partner at Opera Solutions (now ElectrifAi). He started his consulting career at A.T. Kearney (now Kearney), a global management consulting firm, after earning an M.B.A from Columbia Business School.
In his new role as President, Dhiraj will oversee our business functions, with a focus on setting us up for long term sustainability. He will continue leading finance and will work closely with me to set our organizational vision and strategy.
What changes for me?
I will continue to serve as CEO and will remain fully engaged in my work with all members of our Senior Leadership Team. With Dhiraj managing our business functions, I’m excited to have additional bandwidth to better support our world-class editors. I truly love working here. I am proud of the work that we do to serve our community and I am invested in remaining an active part of this organization for the rest of my career.
After a transformative decade of growth and innovation at Boston Globe Media, the Senior Leadership Team and I have set North Star goals of 500K direct digital subscribers for Boston Globe Media, with 100K of those for STAT. These targets underscore our commitment to the long term sustainability of this institution with a strong leadership team at the helm.
As CEO, I have been intentional in making sure our leadership team fosters a culture of innovation and maintains a steadfast dedication to our long term success. In the last four years alone, we have demonstrated remarkable resilience and innovation, navigating a global pandemic and expanding our reporting into critical areas. We have celebrated significant milestones: the Globe’s 150th anniversary and winning our 27th Pulitzer Prize. Our newsrooms have earned some of the most prestigious honors in journalism, including the Polk, Edward R. Murrow and Online Journalism Awards. We have been named Pulitzer Finalists every year. In addition, we are recognized for excellence in many areas of our work, including our digital products with top website design, our advertising solutions and our marketing campaigns. We were recently named among the top 100 most innovative places to work in the country. We have expanded our geographical footprint in Rhode Island and New Hampshire, we launched Boston Globe Today, we rebuilt and optimized Boston.com, and we have brought in fantastic new editors, Nancy Barnes and Jim Dao. We are continuing to add to our newsroom teams, to invest in our journalism, and to improve our subscriber experience.
Additional Leadership Updates
- Dan Krockmalnic will be assuming operational oversight of our printing and distribution operations. In this expanded role, Dan will work closely with Josh Russell, GM, Print Operations and his Taunton-based leadership team. He will continue leading the Legal and New Media teams as well as the company’s work on legislative and advocacy issues through his service on the board of the News Media Alliance and as Vice President of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association.
- Rodrigo Tajonar will be assuming oversight of the building operations team led by Lauren Rich. He will continue to lead the human resource function.
- Tom Brown has been promoted to SVP, Consumer Revenue. Tom has served as the strategic leader of our consumer revenue and subscription strategy and built a highly functioning and talented team that is well regarded throughout our industry. Tom also oversaw consumer marketing from 2018 – 2020 when he and his team pioneered a new acquisition approach with a long trial period that propelled significant subscriber growth and has been widely adopted throughout our industry. As a result, we are the clear leader among all major metro publishers in the number of digital subscribers and revenue from those subscriptions.
- Michelle Micone has been promoted to SVP, Innovation & Strategic Initiatives. Michelle started our Innovation practice in 2020. Since then, she has grown Hack Day into Innovation Week and led the establishment of the Innovation Platform, which has increased our employee engagement around new idea generation and implementation, including the launch of the B-Side. Michelle will continue to lead Innovation and will partner with various leaders at BGM on Strategic Initiatives such as Globe Rhode Island, Globe New Hampshire, Tech Powers Players, AI, and more. Michelle and her team are currently leading the development of Games, scheduled to launch next month on com [BostonGlobe.com].
The changes announced today move us forward, keeping us focused on fulfilling our critical mission and positioning our organization for long term sustainability.
Please join me in congratulating Dhiraj, Dan, Tom, Michelle and Rodrigo. I look forward to connecting with you at our next Town Hall on Monday, March 4th.
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