When fighting for equality, it is easier to get outraged over an injustice of the weak and poor than of one done to, say, a CEO. But in this case, I do need to argue that Janet Robinson, CEO of the New York Times, has not been given the severance that a male in her position would have been given.
According to Reuters, Robinson will receive almost $15 million including a $4.5 million consulting fee and $10.9 million in benefits. She was with the Times for 28 years, and although most employees don’t get pension benefits until after 30 years, her separation agreement allows her to leave early with these benefits.
It comes at an odd economic time for the Times, which is currently in talks with Halifax Media Holdings to sell holdings to 16 regional newspapers and has offered buyouts to more than a dozen staffers.
But even though the severance to Robinson is princely, it still does not come near the $37.1 million Gannett Inc.’s Craig Dubow received in October. Dubow’s 6-year tenure paralleled Robinson’s, and he too steered his company through failing financial returns. Both companies have been dubbed “sinking ships.”
While it is tough to argue that Ms. Robinson needs more when many of her staffers are asked to take pay cuts and work longer hours, it still has to be acknowledged that her severance package is well short of her male industry peers.
Earlier this month, the Grindstone noted that no female CEOs were on the highest paid CEO list for 2011. In fact, the highest paid female CEO in America, Indira Nooyi of PepsiCo, makes 19.6 million, which is about a third of what the man in last place of the top ten list makes.
photo credit: wally g