The Rich Zannino Scorecard

Posted by: Jon Fine on December 6, 2007

Took over as CEO of Dow Jones: Feb, 2006.
Date of Departure from Dow Jones: upon the completion of the News Corp. acqusition of Dow Jones. (Read: soon.)

Financial Results, 2006
Revenues: $1.78 billion, up 6.6%
Operating Income: $104.5 million, up 8.8%
Operating Margin: 5.9%, up from 5.7%.

Financial Results, First Nine Months of 2007
Revenues: $1.53 billion
Operating Income: $104.6 million
Operating Margin: 6.8%, up from 4.3%

Let's set aside the sale of the company to News Corp.-- a notion which, after all, originated with Rupert Murdoch and was blessed (after much sturm und drang) by the Bancroft family--and let me know your answer this question:

Is this a performance worth a $19 million payout?

Reader Comments

Defcon5

December 7, 2007 3:15 PM

Well sure - what was the opportunity cost of his making this switch from his previous industry, etc. $19m isn't a huge payout these days and was likely offered assuming he'd last the customary 5-6 years of current CEOs. He appears to have been pacing ahead of last year's performance after 9 months ... and for a newspaper-laden company, that's nothing to sneeze at.

Jon Fine

December 7, 2007 3:54 PM

Defcon,
not sure what his "opportunity cost" was, as Zannino had been at Dow Jones since '01 and was promoted into his job. But, broadly,my instinct is to agree with you--$19 million isn't a huge payout these days for an outgoing CEO. But that, of course, says more about what CEOs get when they walk out the door than about Zannino's successes or shortcomings.
Jon

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