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Among Millionaires, There’s Still a Glass Ceiling

Among Millionaires, There’s Still a Glass Ceiling


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.

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photo credit: wally g

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1:17PM PDT on Mar 24, 2012

gender bias!!!

11:19AM PST on Jan 19, 2012

Is there? Really?

4:46AM PST on Jan 9, 2012

Thanks for the article.

9:14AM PST on Jan 6, 2012

I would agree, Cathryn, if we also gave the men the same severance pay and passed the rest BACK down to the people who took a paycut.

1:36AM PST on Jan 6, 2012

Thanks for sharing

5:24PM PST on Jan 5, 2012

Thank you for the article.

3:32PM PST on Jan 5, 2012


2:34PM PST on Jan 5, 2012

Janet Robinson has much more than enough money to survive, indeed retire in comfort. Tens of millions of hard working Americans who did not "work the system" and got screwed out of their retirement nest eggs by unscrupulous Corporate bandits are struggling to get by their daily life. 2012 is bringing a new reality to our world, where the hundreds of millions of untold wealth acquired dishonestly will be to no avail. There will be justice in this pivotal year, keep the faith.

1:41PM PST on Jan 5, 2012

I agree with Michael K.---bring the men down to what the women make. Do the same with doctors who make lots of money.

1:13PM PST on Jan 5, 2012

You've got this all backwards. Instead of advocating to being Janet Robinson's departure compensation from the NY Times up to the grossly inflated, greedy and destructive levels of male CEOs, let's instead strive for male-female pay equality by bringing those down to more sane and sustainable levels. The Times is financially troubled and selling off assets and, immediately after granting Janet her departure pay, raised prices that must be paid by all of us little people. The bosses at the Times, and other corporations, must be made to see that not only was Janet treated inequitably, but the middle and working classes were screwed once again by the wealthy's crony capitalism and entrenched sense of entitlement, and it is bad business. Janet can survive quite well on her mere $15 million.

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