Friday, November 30, 2007

Metro's chief operating officer resigns

A month after Danish TV executive Per Mikael Jensen took over as chief executive of Metro International, his second in command has resigned, the free daily newspaper company announced today. Chief Operating Officer Chris Spalding, whose resignation is effective Dec. 31, ran Metro after Pelle Törnberg stepped down as CEO earlier this year.

Only a few months ago, Spalding sounded optimistic about the future of Metro. He was quoted in a press release about the move of Metro's headquarters to London's Fleet Street as saying, "We are excited by the idea of moving such a modern publisher as Metro into the historical heartland of the newspaper industry. In a way this move sees newspapers coming full circle: Metro broke the mould of daily newspaper publishing and now we are back where that mould was originally cast."

At the same time Spalding's exit was announced, Metro said it is sweetening the compensation plan of its top executives by granting them shares of the company's stock. The stock is being issued two months after the company announced an $18 million loss in the third quarter, double the amount in the same quarter last year.