Lex Fenwick, the controversial former Bloomberg executive brought into spearhead a new strategy at News Corp’s Dow Jones division, has departed the 131 year-old organization after less than two years in the role.
Quartz reported earlier this year that the major new initiative introduced by Fenwick, DJX, had encountered difficulties after it received a lukewarm response from major Wall Street firms.
Fenwick’s decision to replace Dow Jones’s tiered pricing structure with a single price for all of its services had also led to a decline in institutional revenue in the third quarter of 2013, with Morgan Stanley scaling back its business significantly.
Dow Jones’s press release today says that the company’s institutional strategy is now under review. William Lewis, News Corp’s chief creative officer, has been appointed interim CEO of Dow Jones as a search for a replacement begins. Some News Corp insiders believe senior vice president of strategy Raju Narisetti, who recently led the company’s acquisition of social video news agency Storyful, could be in line for the position on a permanent basis.
Vanity Fair described Fenwick as “the most flamboyant of Bloomberg’s Old Guard,” and his personality is said to have clashed with many inside Dow Jones. After arriving in 2012, Fenwick’s first order of business was to tear out the offices on the seventh floor of News Corp’s midtown Manhattan headquarters and institute a Bloomberg-style open floor plan. (A large chandelier he had installed on the floor inspired its own Twitter parody account.)
His brash style was supposed to give Dow Jones an energy boost, but many of the changes ended up looking superficial after they weren’t accompanied by a boost in revenue.