As former president and CEO of the New York Times Co., Robinson headed up day-to-day corporate operations at the newspaper. She retired in 2011.
Robinson started out her career as a kindergarten teacher, but she ended her career overseeing an even more unruly group: the editors and writers of the New York Times. In 1983, the Massachusetts native bade farewell to her teaching career and took a job at the New York Times Company, where she worked in sales at Golf Digest and Tennis. In 1992, she was named ad sales chief at the New York Times' women's magazine group (which has since been sold) and in 1996 she moved to the flagship paper, where she was soon promoted to president and general manager. Eight years later—after overseeing the introduction of color and championing a national expansion strategy—she was named CEO. As CEO she oversaw over the company's full portfolio of media properties, which include papers like the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the International Herald Tribune, a dozen regional papers, and some 35 internet properties.
Along with flagging subscriber numbers and a stock price in the doldrums, the biggest problem now facing Robinson and the Times is the same problem afflicting the entire newspaper industry: shrinking ad revenues, which continue to sink as advertisers migrate away from print and the once-lucrative classifieds business slowly succumbs to free sites like Craigslist. Robinson has implemented dramatic cost-reduction efforts, slashing hundreds of jobs and shedding the company's interests in various TV and radio stations. Despite the myriad woes Robinson's now faced with, there have been a few encouraging developments, as online ad revenues continue to grow. The Times has also had luck nabbing high-end advertisers through its ever-expanding library of glossy supplements, including the T: Style magazines. However, in 2011 she suddenly announced her departure, fueling rumors of personal conflicts with Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. [Image via Getty]