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Dow Jones CEO Rich Zannino Makes Quick ($30 Million) Exit

One week before Rupert Murdoch officially owns Dow Jones, CEO Rich Zannino announced his salt-and-pepper mane is resigning. As if he’ll be the last! Then he picks up a $30 million severance package. News Corp.’s own Les Hinton will assume the role. [AdAge]

Zannino’s memo to colleagues below.

Dear friends and colleagues:

This afternoon, Dow Jones announced that I will be stepping down as CEO after the closing of the News Corp. acquisition.

While this was my choice, I’m nonetheless saddened by it.

Since becoming CEO in February 2006, it has been my privilege to lead this very special company as we’ve charted our course in a rapidly changing media environment. Indeed, it is the extraordinary people of Dow Jones I will miss most. Thanks to your efforts, Dow Jones is well on its way to achieving its strategic and financial goals. We’ve enhanced our position as the leading provider of high-quality, indispensable and conveniently accessible business content, transformed Dow Jones from a newspaper company to a more diversified media company, delivered seven consecutive quarters of double-digit growth in operating income, and created much value for shareholders, customers and employees. These are terrific results in the absolute and are nothing short of remarkable relative to our media industry peers. You should be very proud.

Thanks to you, Dow Jones today is a fast-growing and vibrant company that is positioned for an even brighter future under News Corp. ownership. Dow Jones is about to begin perhaps the most exciting chapter in its long and distinguished history. Rupert Murdoch is a visionary leader with a long-term perspective and a willingness to commit much talent and resources to further develop Dow Jones’s unmatched portfolio of brands on a global scale. I will be moving on knowing the best is yet to come for our readers, customers and employees.

We are on track to have a shareholder meeting to approve the transaction on December 13, and we expect to close shortly thereafter. I will stay on for a short time to assist in the transition.

Thank you all. You have my deepest respect and admiration. I wish you and your new colleagues at News Corp. every success bringing out the very best in this great company in the years ahead.



Dec 6, 2007 · Link · Repond

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