The New York Times nominates former Booz & Company consultant to board of directors

26 February 2019 Consulting.us

The New York Times Company has nominated David Perpich, a former Booz & Company consultant, to its board of directors. Perpich will stand for election at the annual meeting of stockholders on May 2.

Perpich has been with The New York Times Company for nearly a decade. He has served as president and general manager of the NYT-owned product review website Wirecutter since 2017, leading all aspects of the website’s business and editorial operations.

NYT purchased Wirecutter in 2016 for approximately $30 million. The website, which competes with the well-known nonprofit publication Consumer Reports, as well as numerous other websites, functions on the basis of affiliate commissions. Consumers who purchase products on Amazon, for example, by first clicking the link on Wirecutter, will earn the site a small percentage of the sale. Between its foundation in 2009 and its purchase by NYT, Wirecutter made $150 million in revenue from affiliate programs with its merchant partners. 

Before leading Wirecutter, Perpich was senior vice president of product for The New York Times, where he oversaw the publication's digital product portfolio across mobile and web. Prior to that, he was general manager of new digital products, leading the development and launch of new subscription products. He was also previously vice president of product management.

New York Times nominates former Booz & Company consultant to board of directors

Perpich joined the company in 2010 as executive director of NYTimes.com’s paid products. In the role, he helped develop and launch NYT’s online pay business.

Perpich has played a key role in NYT’s success in its ongoing transition to a digital subscription-based revenue model. With print readership shrinking, and ad models not providing enough cash to sustain digital newspapers, NYT found that enough readers were willing to pay for a subscription to its digital publication.

The key element, however, is that the quality of journalism and the digital product (the iPad app, for example, must work well and look good) must be high for consumers to want to buy in - and better than what they can get for free. This new environment makes it much more difficult for second-tier or community newspapers, without the funds for sophisticated digital services, to survive.

Before joining NYT, Perpich was a senior associate at Booz & Company (now PwC’s Strategy&) from 2008 to 2010, focusing on growth strategy in the consumer, media, and digital practice.

He also spent three years as director of operations at Scratch Music Group, an NYC-based firm that trains DJs and provides DJ services for corporate events and weddings.

“David is one of The Times’s most effective and entrepreneurial leaders and he’s played a key role in some of the company’s biggest initiatives over the past decade, including the launch of the digital pay model,” Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., chairman of the board of The New York Times Company, said.

“David is well-known at The Times for his collaborative spirit, sound judgment and strategic vision,” he added. “He’s also a fifth-generation family member who is deeply committed to the furtherance of the company’s mission and values. I am very pleased to have David nominated to serve on our board of directors.”

Adweek in 2011 ran a small piece on Perpich, reading he “might just have the inside track for the top job” at the paper, especially if the paywall worked. In retrospect, however, Adweek was slightly off the mark by writing that “David Perpich has made himself the only Sulzberger family member worth watching.” In 2011, A.G. Sulzberger, son of chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., was the paper’s Kansas City bureau chief. Today, he’s the NYT publisher and a board director.

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