Les Hinton (CEO): Dow Jones & Co.
Why this is a big quit: The loss of the CEO of Dow Jones, following the News Corp. phone hacking scandal is a very very big quit. After Hinton’s announcement in July, News International stock fell as casualties of News Corp’s improper journalistic practices continued to mount.
Why it’s not as big as our Top 10: The Biggest Quits generally highlights individuals who leave when their organizations would benefit if they stayed. Analysis around Hinton’s resignation was that Murdoch and News Corp could benefit if he left. Hinton’s ignorance of impropriety made it plausible that other top employees were unaware of what was taking place, and he could take the fall. At the time, there was much unknown about Hinton’s involvement while he was at the Wall Street Journal. Reports in October seemed to implicate Hinton beyond what he led on to knowing when he resigned in July. It seems he was made aware that editors were pressuring their reporters to access individual’s private voicemails.