Spring 2004

Richard F. Zannino, MBA '84
Executive Vice President
Chief Operating Officer
Dow Jones & Company, New York

Richard Zannino is executive vice president and chief operating officer of Dow Jones & Company and a member of the company's executive committee. All operating units of the company report to him, as does information technology, investor relations, strategic planning and corporate marketing. The finance operations report jointly to Mr. Zannino and Mr. Kann, chairman and chief executive officer of Dow Jones.

Prior to his current appointment in July 2002, Mr. Zannino had been an executive vice president and the chief financial officer of Dow Jones since he joined the company in February 2001. He led the company's finance, strategic planning, investor relations and technology activities and had oversight of Barron's, The Dow Jones Business and Financial Weekly.

Before joining Dow Jones, Mr. Zannino held senior executive positions at Liz Claiborne, Inc. from 1998-2001, ultimately becoming executive vice president in charge of finance and administration, with oversight of the retail, fragrance and licensing divisions. He worked briefly as chief financial officer of General Signal Corporation prior to its sale, and before that he had been at Saks Fifth Avenue for over five years. He joined Saks as vice president and treasurer in 1993, and next became senior vice president, strategic planning, and was named executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1996.

In 1981, Mr. Zannino began his career at Continental Group, Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut. From 1984 through 1986, he held financial positions at Emery Worldwide and then at Peter Kiewit Sons', Inc. from 1986 to 1991.

Mr. Zannino earned a B.S. degree in finance and economics from Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts and an M.B.A. in financial management from Pace University's Lubin School of Business. He resides in Greenwich, Connecticut, with his wife, Anna, and their four children.

Strategizing with Dow Jones Executive Richard F. Zannino, '84

[Richard Zannino]
Richard F. Zannino talks with undergraduate
students during his day on campus.

"The future ain't what it used to be," said Yogi Berra. "Clearly, that's more true today than it's ever been in terms of the complexities of business," said Richard F. Zannino, '84, executive vice president and COO of Dow Jones & Company, in explaining why he referred to this Yogi-ism in his slide presentation to undergraduate students on Monday, March 8, 2004. Zannino discussed the planning and alignment strategies used at Dow Jones when he spent the day at Pace's downtown New York City campus as an Executive in Residence.

"[The strategy] starts with an assessment of your business...we start with evaluating what our shareholders' expectations are and whether we can meet them," commented Zannino, who as a member of the company's executive committee, has all operating, information technology, investor relations, finance operations, and corporate marketing units report to him. "Developing a strategic plan ...we want to bring together our competitive advantages and strengths with stakeholders' preferences," said Zannino.

The Dow Jones organization publishes the world's most vital business and financial news and information through such leading publications as The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) , Barron's, and SmartMoney, and provides the world's most widely followed stock-market indicator Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Beyond the Printed Page
With the growing influence of electronic media, Dow Jones extends its operations beyond the printed page by delivering real time news both online and through the CNBC TV network. "Is the Internet really going to be the end of print, like they said radio, television, and cable TV were going to be? We think not. But over the long term there will be substitutions for electronic media over print media... and we take a long-term view of our future," commented Zannino. He also named revenue and share price increase, operational excellence pursuits, strategic alliances and acquisitions to extend the brands and content, as well as further consumer ad category penetration to reduce the company's reliance on the highly cyclical advertising at the WSJ, as other strategic priorities.

"We want to remain focused on business publishing...and tap the full potential of our very strong brands: The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, to get as much value out of those as we can by extending their reach to new product lines and new channels of distribution," Zannino stressed.

The Alignment Model
Dow Jones uses an alignment model to communicate the strategic plan to its 6,000 employees, according to Zannino. To illustrate his point, he said, "Here is one of my favorite Yogi-isms. 'When you come to a fork on the road take it.' Strategic planning helps you decide which fork (and there are many of them in business) to take. The plan is your roadmap; it sets guardrails for you in making those decisions. You want to make sure business units and corporate departments are aligned with your strategies... and that the individuals within those units understand what the strategy is," said Zannino in addressing a group of MBA students during his evening lecture. Speaking about the importance of attracting, motivating, and retaining smart and talented people, he stressed the value of diversity and teamwork: "If you know how to motivate teams and you believe in [the] exponential power of team work, you are going to be great.... Sometimes our divisions don't talk to each other, so we always tell people 'think Dow Jones, don't just think Wall Street Journal or Barron's."

Speaking about the way Dow Jones monitors the success of their strategy implementation, Zannino said: "The measurement is all about watching and keeping score.... We have a matrix so that we know if these things are happening [at every level of the organization] and we measure it.... We look at it monthly, quarterly, and report [the results] twice a year to our board of directors."

Cultural Strategy
"We don't want anybody to pursue our business strategy by violating our core values of quality, integrity, independence, collegiality, serving the public at large, etc.," commented Zannino. He pointed out the significance of having a clearly defined cultural strategy as a way of codifying Dow Jones' policies on acceptable behavior in pursuing business strategies. "Ethics always starts with the tone at the top and this is how we help set the tone at the top."

During a luncheon earlier that day, Zannino involved the small group of faculty and students present in a discussion of ethical issues facing the business community today, mentioning the ethical dilemma he had to solve when, at the age of 24 and just out of school, he had to prepare an analysis for his boss's boss to present to his boss. "I realized the huge mistake I made in the analysis when they were walking to the building where their boss was." Knowing they would never catch the mistake if he did not tell them about it, Zannino decided to reveal his error and proceeded to get the correct numbers to his superiors. "I survived and actually ended up getting points for it," he said. Zannino emphasized this point throughout his lectures and told the students, "not everybody is doing it. If you find yourself in a company that asks you to do something improper, get up and leave."

Passion for Excellence
"If you are just happy with the status quo and being average, then you probably will have that same job for a long time," opined Zannino in speaking about leadership attributes. "If you really want to get ahead in business or in life, then have this passion for excellence, don't tolerate the status quo, and always ask if there is a better way to do it."

Zannino also underlined the importance of solving problems oneself rather than delegating them. "People who succeed... go to their boss's office with recommended solutions...." In laying out his philosophy for success, he said, "finally, meet your commitments. There is nothing worse in school, life, or business than not meeting your commitments and being late or not prepared," he concluded.

Prior to joining Dow Jones & Company, Zannino held senior executive positions at Liz Claiborne, Inc., General Signal Corporation, and Saks Fifth Avenue. He received a B.S. degree in finance and economics from Bentley College in Waltham, MA, and an MBA in financial management from Lubin.