Levien, 49, on Sept. 8 will succeed Mark Thompson, 62, who'd been at the helm of the news organization for eight years.
“We have really big ambitions for The New York Times and we have big ambitions for independent journalism, more generally,” Levien said in a statement.
The opportunity for more subscribers is substantial, she said. “The Times has a big opportunity to go after it,” she said, according to a New York Times story on the appointment.
And Levien said acquisitions were a prospect, given the $687 million of cash the company has on hand.
After joining the Times in 2013 as head of advertising, Levien was promoted to executive vice president and chief revenue officer in 2015 before becoming COO in 2017.
Thompson told the paper that he had no immediate career plans.
The Guardian reported in 2016 that Levien and Thompson were named in a class-action discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of two older black female employees, who said that the two Times executives created an environment "rife with disparities."
“Unbeknownst to the world at large, not only does the Times have an ideal customer (young, white, wealthy), but also an ideal staffer (young, white, unencumbered with a family) to draw that purported ideal customer,” the lawsuit alleged.
The paper had responded to the lawsuit: "This lawsuit contains a series of recycled, scurrilous and unjustified attacks on both Mark Thompson and Meredith Levien. It also completely distorts the realities of the work environment at the New York Times."
The Times said it settled the suit in December, admitting no liability. Levien said the complaint had no merit.
New York Times shares at last check were down 0.6% at $45.35..