Wednesday, 9 May 2012

NUJ to tell shareholders Sly Bailey 'must go now'

The NUJ is issuing a letter to Trinity Mirror shareholders urging that chief executive Sly Bailey (top), who has announced that she is standing down by the end of the year, should go immediately and without a "golden goodbye".

The letter will be handed out to Trinity Mirror shareholders tomorrow morning (May 10) from 10.30am at the newspaper group’s AGM at  the Hilton London Canary Wharf hotel.

The letter says:


Trinity Mirror owns some of the best-known and respected newspaper titles in the UK. In 2003, when Sly Bailey took over as chief executive, it was a FTSE 250 company worth more than £1billion and with a share price of 380p. Now, less than ten years later, the same CEO presides over a company a shadow of its former self – a FTSE Small Cap valued at £80m and a share price of 30p.

Failure on an industrial scale by Ms Bailey has brought at least four years of no dividends for shareholders and misery for the workforce. She has axed more than half of all jobs during her reign. The company’s strength has ebbed away as she has consistently chopped away at the core business: its journalists and the quality journalism they produce.

During this disastrous period, the Trinity Mirror board continued to believe Ms Bailey should be paid as a successful FTSE 100 leader. Unbelievably, she managed to amass payments worth £14 million. Challenges by the NUJ at successive AGMs were breezily waved away by chairman Sir Ian Gibson who said it was “the going rate”.

That was never true and it is demonstrably false today. Following the example of Aviva shareholders last week, we urge you today to vote down the totally unrealistic Resolution 2 on Directors’ Remuneration. We suggest you vote against the re-election of Sir Ian Gibson and also Jane Lighting for approving the monstrous boardroom pay-outs as chair of the remuneration committee.

Sly Bailey said she will stand down by the end of the year. Let’s not prolong the agony: we think she should go immediately and without the touted £1 million golden goodbye.

It is clear that running a major media company without any main board directors having any journalistic background has been disastrous. We call on in-coming chair David Grigson to put this right. Mr Grigson must also immediately scrap Sly Bailey’s £15 million cost cuts planned for this year and look to invest in and grow the company instead.

Yours sincerely,

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary

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