Magazine drops executive-pay expert

February 25, 1992|By New York Times News Service $

Financial World magazine moved yesterday to sever its relationship with Graef S. Crystal, who writes on executive pay issues for the magazine, because of complaints about his

column.

Geoffrey N. Smith, the magazine's editor, said Financial World had decided not to renew Mr. Crystal's contract when it expires in September.

He said Mr. Crystal, a professor at the University of California Berkeley, would be allowed to submit one more column for publication, on a pre-approved topic, after the current issue, which just went to press.

"There's some technical aspects we didn't always agree with," Mr. Smith said.

Many companies whose executives appeared to be overpaid according to Mr. Crystal's calculations have complained over his methodology in setting a value for stock options executives receive as part of their compensation.

Mr. Crystal said by telephone from his home in Napa, Calif., that Financial World had succumbed to pressure from advertisers in canceling his column.

Before joining Financial World, Mr. Crystal severed his relationship with Fortune magazine, saying the magazine's management had pressured him to change his conclusion that executives at Time Warner Inc., Fortune's parent, were overpaid.

Mr. Crystal said he would continue to publish his newsletter and that he might buy enough stock in some companies he thinks overpay their top managers so he can put their compensation packages to a shareholder vote.

"If they cause me to lose my job," he said, "then I guess I'm going to see if I can make a few of them lose their jobs."

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