Former RDA CEO’s Severance Package Set at $500,000
Had signed $1.2 million severance deal as CFO in 2009.
Earlier this week, it was reported that former Reader Digest Association’s CEO Tom Williams was awarded $500,000 in a severance package. Williams was promoted to the position after former CEO and president Mary Berner exited the company in April.
Williams, who acted as CFO with RDA from November 2008 until his bump to CEO in 2011, agreed to a severance package of $1.2 million during the RDA financial reorganization that transpired in August 2009. According to reports, Williams will receive less than half of the originally agreed upon sum in his departure from the company. This mirrors Berner’s pay, as RDA reportedly paid Berner $1 million in her April severance package. At the time of the 2009 reorganization, Berner agreed to a severance package of $2.2 million if she wasn’t offered her job back after the company emerged from bankruptcy protection.
Stepping into the rotating CEO slot is Robert Guth, who joined the RDA Board of directors in the same month Berner exited the company; he was named Williams’ replacement in recent weeks. Guth is a former CEO of telecommunications company TelCove.
RDA saw a rough second quarter, with RDA Holding Corp. reporting a 6.2 percent drop in revenue to $409.4 million in its financial statements. Every Day With Rachael Ray, once considered a performance leader in RDA’s print portfolio, experienced a 16.8 percent ad page drop in first half 2011, according to FOLIO: sister site, minonline. However, sister title Reader’s Digest saw a spike in ad pages from January to June 2011, up 4.4 percent, according to Publishers’ Information Bureau.
In July, The Wall Street Journal reported Reader’s Digest was put on the block; asking price is set around $1 billion.