Star Tribune’s Chief Product Officer has New York Times credentials

The Star Tribune on Thursday announced the hiring of a media industry veteran to serve as the newspaper’s chief product officer.

Aron Pilhofer, most recently the James B. Steele Chair in Journalism Innovation at Temple University, will be responsible for developing and implementing the Star Tribune’s product and technology strategy as it seeks to expand its digital presence. His is the latest in a series of executive-level hires this year, including three newsroom leaders, a chief financial officer and a vice president for brand and communications.

Pilhofer, a Minneapolis native, previously held news leadership roles at the Guardian, the New York Times and the Center for Public Integrity. He was on the national training staff of Investigative Reporters and Editors and worked as a statehouse and projects reporter for Gannett newspapers in New Jersey and Delaware.

Pilhofer also co-founded news-related startups DocumentCloud.org, Hacks/Hackers and Tiny News Collective.

“I’m elated to have such a seasoned and innovative news executive return to his home state to help us strengthen the Star Tribune for Minnesota,” Steve Grove, CEO and publisher of the Star Tribune, said in a statement. “Aron’s leadership comes at an important moment in our digital transformation. We’re excited for all that lies ahead.”

After nearly a decade focused on the challenges facing local news, Pilhofer said the Star Tribune stood out to him because of Grove’s vision for its future. The paper’s ownership — unlike many local news outlets, the Star Tribune has an individual owner in Glen Taylor — and the value Minnesotans place on the organization were also attractive.

“The opportunity is there. The people are there. The resources are in place. It’s in a community that supports quality news and information,” Pilhofer said. “I think, unlike almost anywhere else, all of the elements are aligned to make that work, which is exciting and unusual.”

Pilhofer’s first day will be Dec. 11.

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