Bloomberg reports today that the sudden resignation of New York Times Company CEO Janet Robinson at the end of 2011 came because she was pushed out by chairman and heir Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and his cousin, COO Michael Golden, and that for her troubles, Robinson will receive an exit package worth more than $21 million, much more than the $4.5 million in consulting fees previously reported. And yet revenue and profits at the company are down again.
The Times Co. will report its fourth-quarter earnings next week, and is projected to announce a sixth-straight year of decreased revenue, totaling $2.33 billion, or a 2.7 percent dip from 2010. Profit dropped in all four quarters, according to projections, with shares down to 41 cents from 46 cents a year prior. “The stock is kind of stuck in no-man’s land,” an analyst told Bloomberg. “‘Who’s the next CEO?’ That’s what everyone’s wondering.”
The search is ongoing, and the company hopes to hire someone from outside the family. For his part, Sulzberger has traveled to “at least a dozen conferences and panels in Istanbul, Beijing, Munich, London, Paris and Switzerland where his girlfriend, Claudia Gonzalez, works.” But the trips are to make the company a global brand, according to corporate PR.
While a sale of the company is not likely, Bloomberg has a dark bottom line amid some optimism about the digital future and reduced debt: “The company has lost more than 80 percent of its market value from a high of about $8.5 billion in 1999 to its current value of $1.18 billion. It has not paid dividends to shareholders for the past three years.”