Dow Jones Chairman Phillips To Retire
NEW YORK (AP) _ Warren H. Phillips, chairman and chief executive of Dow Jones & Co. Inc., which publishes The Wall Street Journal, announced Wednesday he would step down.
Phillips will relinquish his chief executive duties Jan. 1 and retire as chairman July 1.
Phillips, 64, has been chief executive of the media and financial information company since 1975 and chairman since 1978. He will be 65 by the time he retires as chairman.
Peter R. Kann, the company’s president and chief operating officer, will succeed Phillips as chief executive. Kann, 47, also is publisher of the Journal, Dow Jones’ flagship publication.
Spokesman Roger May said Phillips’ decision to leave was based on the customary retirement age of 65 and was unconnected with recent financial troubles at the company, which reported a sharp drop in third-quarter earnings last week.
Dow Jones has no mandatory retirement age except for its directors, who must step down at 70, May said.
The timing of Phillips’ announcement came as a surprise to some Dow Jones employees. It followed the bad earnings report and the disclosure of a severe cost-cutting plan.
But May said the company’s outside directors knew of Phillips’ plans for more than a year.
Phillips will remain on the company’s board of directors. No date has been set for election of a new chairman.
″These actions will provide an orderly transition of executive responsibility,″ Phillips said in a news release. ″After an immensely satisfying 43-year career at Dow Jones and more than 15 years as CEO, it is time for me to step down and allow a new CEO and his colleagues to provide fresh energy and continuity of leadership in the years ahead.″
Phillips started his Dow Jones career in 1947 as a copy reader for the Journal.
Dow Jones also publishes the weekly financial newspaper Barron’s, produces a weekly financial television show and provides financial information electronically.
Dow Jones announced in an internal memo Oct. 11 it was freezing budgets for capital spending and salaries and imposing other cuts. It didn’t rule out layoffs.
The memo followed an announced 17.5 percent slide in third-quarter profits, attributed principally to the company’s acquisition of the financial information service Telerate Inc.
Operating income at Dow Jones’ business publications dropped 80 percent in the third quarter. Advertising linage at the Journal dropped 16 percent in the period.
Last year, the company earned $317 million on revenue of $1.69 billion, compared with a profit of $228.2 million on revenue of $1.6 billion in 1988.