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Rating:Ned and Abby Speak Out Not Rated 3.1 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, July 30, 2007

Ned and Abby Speak Out

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The Fidelity succession talk in the media appears to have drawn the Johnsons themselves to the microphone. FMR CEO Ned Johnson, 77, and his daughter, Fidelity Employer Services Company president Abby Johnson, 45, both recently gave interviews for Geraldine Fabrikant's piece in Sunday's New York Times (separate log-in required). The specific comments themselves may not be surprising to industry insiders, but it's still rare to see the two express their views to the press.

So what juicy tidbits did the father-and-daughter tandem reveal? Ned confirmed that Fidelity could conceivably pass into the hands of a non-Johnson.

"I would expect the family would continue to play a critical role in leading Fidelity," Ned told The Times, reiterating that, while a succession plan exists, he has no "immediate plans to retire." "However, the company does not necessarily have to be run day-to-day by a family member. It will be run by the person who is determined to have the right skills and chemistry."

Meanwhile, Abby revealed a bit of disappointment in some of her own past performance. Of her years as head of Fidelity Management Research, overseeing Fidelity's funds, Abby told the Times she is "very proud of the work" despite her feeling that the unit "did not do as well as we would like."

As for questions about who will succeed Ned, and when, Abby said she doesn't "get worked up about it."

"People are always speculating," Abby said. 

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