Read the memo

LA Times president leaving the building *

Kathy Thomson, the president and COO of the Los Angeles Times, sent around an email announcing her impending departure from the company. She said she was heading to another opportunity but did not offer details. The Times posted a short story but did not shed any light on her exit.

Here is Thomson's statement to the staff.

Colleagues –

From the groundbreaking journalism and ongoing community events to the task of creating the largest fully responsively designed news site ever built, the work being undertaken in every corner of the LA Times is amazing. Millions of people count on that work every day. It matters.

I am honored to be associated with such an outstanding team of people who are dedicated and committed to excellence. I am inspired by you. So it is with mixed feelings that I am writing to tell you I am leaving The Times and moving on to another challenging opportunity. My last day will be November 29th.

I am proud to have helped lead the company out of bankruptcy and into a new era. There is much promise on the road ahead. Our journalism is read more now than at any time in our 131 year history. Our readers and advertisers rely on us to inform, delight, engage and entertain throughout each day. As The Times continues to navigate its migration into a digital world, remember the importance and value of the people on the team and the immense power of the brand. While change is inevitable, the LA Times is here to stay.

Thank you for all that you do and for letting me be a part of a truly incredible company.

Best wishes,

She is the latest high-profile woman to leave the Times. Karlene Goller, the VP and deputy counsel, stepped down last month after more than 20 years as the newsroom's lawyer. Projects editor Julie Marquis left last week, accompanied by a glowing memo to the staff by editor Davan Maharaj and his second, Marc Duvoisin.

To the staff:

It’s with regret that we share the news that Julie Marquis, a stalwart of investigative journalism at The Times for many years, is leaving.

As metro projects editor, Julie has been a driving force behind some of the paper’s finest investigative work. She helped lead a team of reporters to a Pulitzer Gold Medal for Public Service in 2005 for exposing deadly lapses in patient care at King-Drew Medical Center.

Among other memorable projects she guided: an expose of huge gaps in California’s oversight of nurses (a Pulitzer finalist in 2010); “Grading the Teachers,” a groundbreaking series that used new statistical tools to assess the performance of Los Angeles public school teachers; and last year’s string of powerful stories showing how the Boy Scouts of America covered up child abuse by troop leaders.

No list of stories can do full justice to Julie’s influence at the paper. Her passion for watchdog journalism is infectious, and she is a tireless advocate for her reporters and their stories.

Before becoming an editor, Julie was a reporter covering health care. She took a special interest in the ignored fringes of the health care system. For a glimpse of the heights she could scale as a reporter and writer, check out her Column One of Dec. 23, 2000, on the silent spread of syphilis.

We tried to persuade Julie to stay, and we are sad to see her go.

Our commitment to the kind of work she does is undiminished, and we are looking for someone to carry on in her footsteps. Anyone who is interested should reach out to one or both of us.

Please join us in wishing Julie the greatest success in the next chapter of her career.

Davan and Marc

Marquis did not announce where if anywhere she was going. * Update!: Marquis is the new California editor for Kaiser Health News, which also employs Times alums Jordan Rau and Anna Gorman. Per Twitter.

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