Smith to retire from WSJ after 30 years
by Chris Roush
Matt Murray, a deputy managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, sent out the following announcement to the staff late Thursday:
Randy Smith has decided to retire from The Wall Street Journal, after 30 years, some 10 beats, a Polk award, a piece of a Pulitzer prize and a book.
When Randy joined the paper, it was two sections. He started on the real-estate beat and eventually moved on to “computers,” before the WSJ even had a technology beat.
For about six years Randy covered deals, and after a brief detour in editing spent about a decade as a Wall Street reporter.
That beat showcased Randy’s reporting grit. After the Sept. 11 attacks led to the newsroom’s temporary relocation, he and Mike Siconolfi gained special access to the World Financial Center by agreeing to wear full gas masks. Randy dug through the rubble to retrieve important files for an investigation he was doing with Susan Pulliam about improper allocation of IPOs. Workers in the building chuckled at their gear, but Randy got the last laugh.
In 2002 that coverage won Susan and Randy a George Polk award.
The next year Randy co-authored with Geeta Anand an article on a health-care analyst who infiltrated a drug-research trial to gain advance information on results. The article became part of a Pulitzer-winning package on corporate scandals.
He wrote a book on the legal woes of Frank Quattrone “The Prince of Silicon Valley.”
In recent years, Randy has covered exchanges, Citigroup, and most recently IPOs, where he has brought his signature critical eye to latest batch of web deals.
Throughout, Randy has remained a core member of the M&I team, bringing to the day’s most-crucial stories his ever-deepening understanding of the ways of Wall Street and the people who make it tick.
Randy attributes part of his financial reporting bent to a math teacher whose guidance helped him score a 799 on the math SAT, which, combined with a 762 in English, enabled him to sail into Harvard.
He got into journalism at the urging of his father, a p-r guy who once worked at conglomerate Gulf & Western. At Harvard, he was in the Navy ROTC and served four years on an aircraft carrier and destroyer escort.
In high school and college, he worked summers for Women’s Wear Daily. He landed jobs at the New York Daily News and New York Post before joining the Journal.
Randy will be missed not only for his excellent work but also for the guidance and good cheer he offered so many colleagues day in and day out, in Money & Investing and beyond.
On behalf of ourselves and three decades of readers, we thank and congratulate Randy for his contribution to financial journalism and The Wall Street Journal.
We wish him the very best in his future endeavors and promise soon to arrange a chance for all to hoist a glass in his honor.