CEO Fenwick’s Resignation Casts Doubt on Dow Jones’ Strategy

By Nicholas Luciano,
Money and Investing Writer

Breaking news has hit the financial market as the CEO of the Dow Jones unit of News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS) Lex Fenwick has stepped down after only two years in this position.

Fenwick worked for 25 years as the CEO of Bloomberg LP before he was fi­nally recruited to News Corp. He tried to take the experience from Bloomberg to change News Corp into a more profitable combined price bundle type of business.

Fenwick focuses on expanding the institutional business side of News Corp through his innovation known as DJX. DJX brought together all the services of News Corp into one single priced package for business clients to receive updated fi­nancial news and analysis on different cor­porations.

“We thank Lex for his time and energy at the helm of Dow Jones,” said Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp. “We’re re­viewing the institutional strategy of Dow Jones with an eye towards changes that will deliver even more value to its custom­ers. We will also be redoubling our efforts to develop The Wall Street Journal and its digital properties globally.”

Bloomberg was doing better than News Corp and that is why News Corp de­cided to appoint the talent of Fenwick to the CEO position of the Dow Jones sub­sidiary. Fenwick was actually demoted at Bloomberg down to Bloomberg Ventures from the C-suite before he finally left. He became CEO of the Dow Jones unit in Feb­ruary 2012.

The higher cost of DJX ultimately did not work because clients were used to picking different services that News Corp offers and to then negotiate a price. That eventually led to a decline in the last quar­ter of 2013 for News Corp where their rev­enue plummeted seven percent.

Fenwick was known as a debatable leader because of the very rigid style he had along with his explosive type of per­sonality.

These could have been reasons why News Corp and Fenwick decided to go two different paths for the future.

Fenwick focused on too expensive and ostentatious customers for his DJX product which included banks, hedge funds, and re­tail brokers.

All of these types of consumers will not help the profits of News Corp but in­stead just help pay for the higher cost of Fenwick’s innovating ideas.

William Lewis has been named as the interim CEO of the Dow Jones of News Corp. Lewis will take over for now but he was recently the chief creative officer of News Corp.

Lewis also previously worked for British newspaper under News Corp, was a former editor in chief of Daily Telegraph newspaper, and additionally has worked for the Financial Times.

Lewis also was a reporter for much time on mergers and acquisitions of differ­ent companies.

News Corp has come a long way from becoming independent from its parent company, 21st Century Fox last June. The chairman of the board of both News Corp and 21st Century Fox remains the same, Rupert Murdoch.

News Corp is looking towards a new year and new direction and will hopefully find a better leader that can lead them to profitability, efficiency, and to some com­petitive advantages in the market. The stepping down of Fenwick may have come at a good time for the company.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Jan. 28 print edition.

Contact Nicholas at
nicholas.luciano@student.shu.edu

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