ProPublica announced today that longtime board member, technology executive and venture capitalist Paul Sagan will become its board’s new chairman effective Jan. 1. Sagan is taking over from founding chairman Herbert Sandler, who will continue serving as a board member.
“ProPublica’s role as a watchdog against corruption and abuse of power, through its exemplary investigative, nonprofit journalism, has never been more important or crucial to a healthy and functioning civil society and our democracy,” said Sagan, who began his career as a journalist before transitioning to work in Internet technology. “I am honored and humbled to succeed Herb Sandler, who helped to set the highest standards by which ProPublica’s journalists and our entire board operate.”
Sagan is an executive in residence at General Catalyst Partners, a venture capital firm that makes early stage and growth equity investments, as well as a director of Akamai Technologies and VMware. He was at Akamai from 1998 until 2013, serving at various times as CEO, president and chief operating officer. Sagan was senior advisor to the World Economic Forum from 1997 to 1998, consulting to the Geneva-based organization on Internet technology strategy.
Previously, Sagan was president and editor of new media at Time Inc., and managing editor of Time Warner’s News on Demand project when he helped to lead the development of the company’s online business activities. He was a co-founder of Road Runner, the first consumer broadband cable modem service. As Time Warner’s senior vice president of cable programming, he designed and launched NY 1 News, the New York City-based cable news network. Before joining Time Warner in 1991, Sagan worked in various roles in broadcast journalism for the CBS television stations division, including as director of news at WCBS-TV in New York.
In 2010, President Obama appointed Sagan to the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. Sagan is also a three-time Emmy Award winner for broadcast news in New York.
“I’m delighted that my ProPublica Board colleagues joined me in agreeing that Paul Sagan is the best possible choice to serve as Board chair at this time,” said Sandler. “Paul brings enormous intelligence and integrity, and great experience to this expanded role. ProPublica is very fortunate to have his leadership.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the choice of Paul Sagan to lead ProPublica’s Board into our second decade,” said Richard Tofel, ProPublica’s president, and Stephen Engelberg, its editor-in-chief. “ProPublica has also been truly blessed by Herb Sandler’s founding vision and steadfast commitment, and we’re very glad Herb remains so actively involved on the Board.”