December 15, 2011

DOINGS AMONG THE ONE PERCENT:

The New York Times Company today abruptly announced that its 61-year-old chief executive officer, Janet Robinson, will leave at the end of the year, with no permanent successor lined up.

An SEC filing says Ms. Robinson will get $4.5 million plus health insurance for a 12-month retirement and consulting agreement, including “two-year non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disparagement covenants, a three-year cooperation covenant and an indefinite confidentiality covenant.”

The Times itself reported that Ms. Robinson’s pay in 2009 was $4.9 million, so she’ll earn almost as much as a retired consultant as as a full-time CEO.

The handy investment calculator on the Times corporate Web site shows that $10,000 invested in NYT stock the day Ms. Robinson took over as CEO, on December 27, 2004, would be worth $1,855.14 today, a decline of 81.45%. The price of the stock went from $40.59 when she took over to $7.53 today, and though some dividends were paid out early in her tenure as CEO, the dividend has since been suspended.

Consequences for failure are for the little people.

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