Gemstar Fires Jail-Threatened Boss, Awards $30m Payoff

23 April 2003

The demoted boss of Rupert Murdoch-controlled Gemstar-TV Guide has been sacked from the firm after being threatened with jail – but will receive nearly $30 million (€27m; £19m) in severance pay.

Henry Yuen resigned as chief executive to take a back-set role in the US firm – which publishes TV listings and owns patents to electronic programming guides – under pressure from Murdoch last year [WAMN: 10-Oct-02].

Gemstar (40%-owned by News Corporation) fired him Friday from his current job, twenty-four hours after US financial regulators demanded he be jailed for contempt of court. The Securities & Exchange Commission, which is investigating the firm’s accounts, asked a judge to imprison Yuen after he failed to turn up in court on several occasions.

Any distress such events may have caused the outgoing executive, may be tempered by his staggering severance payment of $29.5m (comprising termination fees, holiday time and unpaid bonuses).

One-time chief financial officer Elsie Ma Leung has also been shown the door, and will be handed $8.2m.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff