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Leadership Advice for the New York Times and Its New CEO

The New York Times Building in New York City
The New York Times Building in New York CityPhotograph by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images

Who is to blame—and what should be done—when the new CEO can’t even get an ID badge issued before embarrassing his employer? How can a CEO who begins his tenure standing at the bottom of a well—whether it was dug by or for him—restore his reputation and effectively lead? And what is the cost of this going to be to the employer and employee, in this case the New York Times Co. and its new CEO, Mark Thompson?

It seems evident that the board’s due diligence when vetting Thompson was too cursory. Either that or the Times Co. board found it too easy to discount or disregard details that should have served as warnings. In fairness, it isn’t clear yet how deeply the British Broadcasting Corp. buried this information. The real question is whether the board did the right thing after information started to surface by making no public comment and then by allowing Thompson to take office last week.