Monday, November 22, 2010

A Trailblazer With Her Eye on the Bottom Line

Here's a long profile of Cathie Black on the front page of today's NYT.  She's an unconventional selection to be sure, but she seems like a super person and manager, so I'm willing to give her (and Mayor Bloomberg) the benefit of the doubt and support her nomination.  I sat next to her at a charity event a few months ago – we had a nice chat, but I certainly now wish I'd engaged her more!

Cathleen Prunty Black, who is Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's choice to be the next chancellor of the New York City public school system, has during more than 40 years in the publishing industry broken numerous glass ceilings — and amassed a personal fortune — with quick and definitive decision making, crystal-clear goal setting and an all-surpassing attention to the bottom line. She not only produced results but also carefully managed up, winning the confidence of powerful bosses like Allen H. Neuharth and Rupert Murdoch. And she threw herself into knotty problems, developing two tennis elbows from carrying around overstuffed briefcases in her first year as president of USA Today.

"She's the closest thing to Superman that exists," said Atoosa Rubenstein, on whom Ms. Black placed an audacious bet, letting her start a new magazine, CosmoGirl, at age 26.


A Trailblazer With Her Eye on the Bottom Line

Michael Appleton for The New York Times

Cathleen P. Black, the mayor's pick to lead New York schools, waiting for a taxi outside her Park Avenue apartment.


Published: November 18, 2010

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