Dubow, who resigned Friday citing medical issues, laid off 20,000 staffers during his tenure as CEO, Lewis says. The company’s stock fell from $72 a share to $10. And Dubow’s pay package for 2010 was nearly $8 million.
His retirement/disability pay package could be as much as $37 million, or “considerably” more than the $22.5 million he’d get if he retired for non-disability.
“The corporate goal is not to serve the consumer; it’s to maximize profits and pay packages for top executives,” Lewis writes. “Can anyone argue that Gannett newspapers and journalism are better today, and that news consumers are better served?”
To Dubow’s credit, paidContent says, “Dubow was able to return Gannett to profitability during one of the worst periods for newspaper companies in particular and media companies in general. He’s also tried to pivot Gannett into being a interactive media and marketing company as a way of supporting the traditional side of the business until digital revenues can completely offset print losses.
“But he also cut more than he built, a situation that will plague the legacy of most media company chiefs who had to deal with more challenges than opportunities.”
“This,” Lewis writes, “is the sort of stuff that causes people to occupy Wall Street and main streets in cities across the country.”