The Future of Capitalism on the ability of wealthy Blue State elites to fail upward:
The New York Times Company today abruptly announced that its 61-year-old chief executive officer, Janet Robinson, will leave at the end of the year, with no permanent successor lined up.
An SEC filing says Ms. Robinson will get $4.5 million plus health insurance for a 12-month retirement and consulting agreement, including “two-year non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disparagement covenants, a three-year cooperation covenant and an indefinite confidentiality covenant.”
The Times itself reported that Ms. Robinson’s pay in 2009 was $4.9 million, so she’ll earn almost as much as a retired consultant as as a full-time CEO.
The handy investment calculator on the Times corporate Web site shows that $10,000 invested in NYT stock the day Ms. Robinson took over as CEO, on December 27, 2004, would be worth $1,855.14 today, a decline of 81.45%. The price of the stock went from $40.59 when she took over to $7.53 today, and though some dividends were paid out early in her tenure as CEO, the dividend has since been suspended.
Karl of Hot Air dubs it a clear case of “Income inequality at the Progressive Death Star,” and now that Zuccotti Park is looking less hospitable, suggests that the OWS gang truck a bit north, for some warm uptown indoor squatting:
Indeed, looking at how the NYT runs piece after piece about storming the capitalist castle, the shrinking middle-class, moaning that most Americans are delusional for thinking they are the haves, and advocating an inequality tax, I wonder why the unwashed hipsters occupying Wall Street don’t shamble over to the NYTHQ, a progressive palace built for the paper on government-seized property and given $26.1 million in tax breaks. I do not wonder about the blind eye the remaining Timesmen and Timeswomen turn to the income inequality at their own business. After all, the NYT is now fixated on the issue everywhere but the paper for the same reason Team Obama is — they would much rather continue to curse the last three decades than defend the past three years.
The starboard half of the Blogosphere had lots of fun back in early October with the notion of a former Enron advisor turned blowhard political hack cheering on OWS, but now it all makes sense. As the Future of Capitalism noted, Janet Robinson “could perhaps argue that she earned her pay by serving as someone outside the family for the family to blame for the poor performance.” In a similar fashion, say what you will about Pinch Sulzberger’s lack of business acumen, it was rather wise of him to ask Krugman to be a sacrificial lamb to the paper. It helps the tyro blogger make amends to the company for his myriad of gaffes this year, ranging from the rush to judgement on who shot Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Bush #41-appointed Federal Judge John Roll, and others in the Tuscon Massacre this past January to a punitive and churlish blog post on the tenth anniversary of September 11th. It allowed Pinch to utilize an already damaged component of his brand, and avoid — or at least buy some time to put off — the sort of ugly blue-on-blue incidents we’re seeing on the West Coast, college campuses, and on Wall Street itself. And presumably taking one for the team bought Krugman some time as well, knowing that the clock is likely ticking on old media as a whole.
Of course, given their wily and carefully planned performance art over the last four months, there’s no way that Occupy Wall Street will fail to see through this blatantly obvious charade by the One Percent occupying 620 Eighth Avenue.
Related: “Gallup: 2011 is the new 1979.”