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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


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

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.

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