This was expected: Dow Jones (NYSE: DJ) CEO Richard Zannino will leave the company upon the closing of its sale to News Corp., (NYSE: NWS) planned for next week, the company has just announced. News Corp. says it will be announcing a successor shortly. Release.
WSJ has posted a copy of the memo Zannino sent his staff: “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…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.” full text.
Separately, WSJ discusses some of the politics at play here: Zannino had expressed a desire to stay at Dow Jones under News Corp’s ownership. What changed his mind isn’t clear although it’s likely that Mr. Murdoch didn’t offer him the role he wanted. News Corp. is expected to shortly name a new management team for Dow Jones. Among the executives expected to follow Zannino out the door are Dow Jones CFO Bill Plummer, while Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz is expected to relinquish his title.
As to what Zannino and other senior execs who leave will get as severance and out of the Dow Jones deal, see the charts below (from DJ’s SEC filings), click on it to get the bigger version:
Chart 1: the language from the filing: “The chart sets forth for each executive officer of Dow Jones the estimated amount of cash severance pay, value of retirement, health and other benefits, and