Dow Jones also announced that Karen Elliott House, senior VP-publisher of The Wall Street Journal, is retiring from the company. House, who is married to Kann, will stay on for several months during a transition period.
The departures of Kann and House will mark an end to what was often reported to be a tumultuous relationship between senior management and rank-and-file Dow Jones employees. “This is a probably a good thing for shareholders and employees,” said Robert Crosland, managing director of media investment bank AdMedia Partners.
Crosland said Zannino faces challenges. “It's hard to tell what the right formula is [in today’s business climate],” Crosland said. “Dow Jones has definitely been ahead of the curve with its interactive stuff, but now the question is whether the company is going to live in the past or redefine its future, and that’s what everybody in the business media market has to contend with.”
Zannino joined Dow Jones in 2001 as CFO. Prior to that, he held senior finance, strategy and operating positions at Liz Claiborne, General Signal Corp., Saks Holdings and Peter Kiewit Sons.