Arthur Sulzberger Jr. issued a statement in response to an online item by Ken Auletta, media critic for the New Yorker magazine.
"Compensation played no part whatsoever in my decision that Jill could not remain as executive editor. Nor did any discussion about compensation," Sulzberger said. "The reason -- the only reason -- for that decision was concerns I had about some aspects of Jill's management of our newsroom, which I had previously made clear to her, both face-to-face and in my annual assessment."
Auletta suggested that Abramson only learned a few weeks ago that she was being paid less than Bill Keller. She replaced him first as managing editor and then as executive editor.
Times management decided that Abramson was "pushy" after she made an issue of the pay disparity, Auletta said.
Sulzberger in his statement said that Abramson's total compensation in 2013 was 10 percent more than Keller received in his last full year as executive editor, in 2010.
Abramson is being replaced by Dean Baquet, who was managing editor. Baquet, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, is the New York Times' first black executive editor.