3:39 pm Nov. 30, 2012
Since New York Times Company chief executive Janet Robinson was fired at the end of 2011, there has been lots of reporting and speculation about the reason for her ouster.
One character in several of the stories was Times Company chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr.'s then-girlfriend Claudia Gonzalez, the Mexican-born philanthropist and former World Economic Forum marketing chief.
But now, sources tell Capital that Sulzberger has ended the relationship—he did so several months ago in fact.
Some background: We published an item about the couple in Sept. 2011 after we came across a gossip item in the Mexican society magazine Quien suggesting that Sulzberger had been splitting his time between New York and Geneva, where Gonzalez lived.
Written in Spanish, the article called Gonzalez "the woman who moves the New York Times." It was the first to identify her as Sulzberber's girlfriend.
In January, after Sulzberger was named interim Times Company C.E.O. following Robinson's ouster, Bloomberg News reported that his cross-continental travels, which also included regular conference appearances, had become a concern among colleagues.
New York magazine's Joe Hagan followed up in a May with an in-depth feature about the events leading up to Robinson's ouster. Hagan ultimately found other reasons for why Robinson was cut loose, but his sources suggested that Gonzalez had begun to wield considerable influence over the then-60-year-old Times Company boss.
"Robinson, according to former colleagues at the paper, was growing annoyed with what she saw as Gonzalez’s undue influence on her boss, his forays with her cutting into the weekly face time Robinson had grown accustomed to having with him over the years," Hagan reported.
"As his girlfriend, [Gonzalez] gave him advice—including, many people at the Times believe, a critique of Robinson’s performance. The tension between Robinson and Gonzalez, with Sulzberger in the middle, seemed to signal a shift at the paper."
Reached for comment, a spokesperson for Sulzberger would only say: "It's the policy of the Times Company not to comment on the personal lives of its executives."
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