Will Lewis replaces ousted Lex Fenwick as CEO of struggling Dow Jones

Exit Sign

The chief executive of Dow Jones, parent company of the Wall Street Journal, was abruptly replaced on Tuesday, as the company announced it was "reviewing its institutional strategy".

News Corporation, which owns Dow Jones, said Lex Fenwick's resignation would take immediate effect, and that he would be replaced by Will Lewis, the executive who was a key player in the internal investigation of the media group’s UK hacking scandal.

Dow Jones has been attempting to compete with Bloomberg in the lucrative business of supplying institutional trading terminals to Wall Street and City workers. Last August it launched DJX, a service aimed at challenging Bloomberg’s dominance of the terminals market.

DJX includes a variety of services such as Factiva and the Dow Jones newswire at a single price point. Some customers are understood to have been furious at being forced to swallow significant price hikes for the bundled product, which has failed to capture the imagination of its target market.

News Corp reported the division had a “modest, negative impact” on its third-quarter revenue. The CEO of News Corp, Robert Thomson, said in a statement on Tuesday that "greater flexibility in its product offerings is likely in the short term". The product was the brainchild of Fenwick, and his resignation is a clear indication that Thomson believes it has been a failure.

 “We thank Lex for his time and energy at the helm of Dow Jones, and in particular for his original vision of DJX as an innovative way to integrate content and deliver it to customers in a timely manner,” said Thomson in the statement.

“We’re reviewing the institutional strategy of Dow Jones with an eye towards changes that will deliver even more value to its customers. As part of that, we’re planning improvements to DJX,” he said.

“We will also be redoubling our efforts to develop the Wall Street Journal and its digital properties globally, which continue to serve the world’s most influential readers with the most authoritative news and analysis,” said Thomson.

The company said that Lewis would take over on an interim basis. Lewis joined News Corp in 2010 as group general manager at News International, now News UK. In 2011 he was made a key member of News Corp’s management and standards commission (MSC) an internal task force set up in the wake of the hacking and bribery scandal.

News Corp split its film and TV assets from its publishing division last June and Lewis was appointed chief creative officer of the publishing division.

Lewis has previously served as editor-in-chief of the Telegraph newspaper group in London, business editor of the Sunday Times in the UK, and global news editor of the Financial Times.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Dominic Rushe in New York, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 22nd January 2014 02.54 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

 

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