Donald S. Maxwell, a retired financial executive who helped guide the Los Angeles Times and its former parent company, Times Mirror, through periods of unprecedented expansion, died Wednesday at his home in La Habra Heights. He was 83 and had pancreatic cancer, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Maxwell joined The Times as controller in 1969 and later became the newspaper's vice president of finance. In 1982, he was named a vice president of Times Mirror, where he had a succession of financial responsibilities.
Former colleagues on Wednesday praised him for his keen analytic abilities and level-headedness under pressure.
"He had a style that was quite different from that of many chief financial officers," said Tom Johnson, the Times' president and later its publisher from 1977 to 1989. "He had the ability to instill change — including, when it was needed, financial discipline — without ever being mean-spirited."