Tag Archives: Dex One

People – July

It has been a while since we updated our regular blog sponsored by Hawthorne Executive Search .   It is all about people in the Yellow Pages industry. If you have news you want to share about someone that is involved in the Yellow Pages industry (including retirees) that we should all know about, drop us a line and tell us how they are doing. Send your submissions to ken@yptalk.com.

Larry Angove:

The Association of Directory Publishers (ADP) has announced that Larry Angove, their President and Chief Executive Officer since 1997, is planning to retire on or after June 30, 2013.

As a result, a Presidential Search Committee consisting of independent publisher leaders — Danny Bills, Wally Downey, Jim Hail, Steve Skinner, and Vernon Smith has been formed to coordinate the search for Larry’s successor.

Recommendations/expressions of interest are being directed to Danny Bills at dang452@aol.com. All recommendations and applications will be kept confidential by the Committee.

David Krantz:

David Krantz, former CEO and president of AT&T Interactive, has been named CEO of YP Holdings. Krantz will lead YP’s overall strategy and operations. The new leadership team includes executives from AT&T Advertising Solutions, AT&T Interactive and Cerberus Operations, as well as executives recruited from outside of AT&T. The company will be headquartered in Tucker, Georgia. AT&T still has a 47% equity interest in YP Holdings.

“We have a great future in front us,” said Krantz. “We also have an extensive customer base, the largest local sales organization, an unmatched product portfolio, industry-leading platforms across the web, mobile and print ecosystems, and a great brand. We are ready to invest in this business, innovate and provide excellent service to our customers.”

ZipLocal:

The online local search business Ziplocal has made several Board and management appointments:  Owen B. Menzel, Elaine Kunda and Timothy M. Gould have resigned as directors.  John Albright, Perry N. Dellelce, and Sheldon Inwentash were appointed as directors; Kevin Dane as president; and Paul Van Damme as chief financial officer.

Albright is co-founder and managing partner of Relay Ventures, an early stage venture fund exclusively focused on mobile software. He also founded JLA Ventures in 1996. Dellelce is a founder and managing partner of Wildeboer Dellelce, a Canadian law firm.  Inwentash is chairman and CEO of Canadian investment firm Pinetree Capital.

Alan Schultz

Schultz has been names thenew chairman of the board of directors for yellow pages publisher Dex One.  Schultz replaces Eugene Davis, who resigned from the board.

Schultz has been a member of the Dex One board since 2005. He also is non-executive chairman of the board at Valassis Communications. He retired as CEO of that firm in December, 2011.

Davis had served as non-executive chair of the board since August 2011. He has been a member of the board since January 2010.

Scott Klein:

As reported in The Goddard Report, Scott Klein who led Idearc/SuperMedia out of bankruptcy and resigned in 2010, has been named president and CEO of Language Line Services. Language Line is a language solutions provider specializing in more than 170 languages focusing on clients in government, healthcare, telecommunications, financial services and other industries worldwide.

“I know the Language Line team is going to enjoy working with Scott Klein as their new leader,” said Language Line board chairman Dennis Dracup in a prepared statement. “His diverse background, leadership experience, and emphasis on customer coupled with his high energy approach will drive the growth of our business.”

Klein joined Idearc from Symphony Technology Group (Palo Alto, CA) where he was an operating partner. He was previously president and CEO of Information Resources (Chicago), a global provider of information solutions, analytics and performance technology.

 

Dane Madsen

LocalBlox, has announced that Dane Madsen has joined the firm as an advisor.

Madsen and two partners purchased the YellowPages.com domain in 1996 and began with a small hosting package which evolved in to YellowPages.com.  In November 2004, SBC and BellSouth purchased the domain name and company YellowPages.com for a reported  $100 million.

The addition of Madsen as an advisor is expected to “…provide the firm with the experience, expertise and knowledge of a world-class entrepreneur who understands the unique business environment of today’s market and the special challenges facing small business owners in the new economy…”

LocalBlox features two distinct facets. One is a community-based platform that provides the means for community members to share information, plan special events and keep each other advised of news to promote neighborhood safety. The other aspect of LocalBlox supports businesses and entrepreneurs in their endeavors through business tools, apps, software and a comprehensive array of business services.

LocalBlox serves over 60,000 neighborhoods across the U.S and is dedicated to providing businesses with sound solutions and cost effective ways of conducting commerce to build financially strong neighborhoods.

Julie Winbun

Has accepted a new position as Vice President of Business Development Offline & Print with Ring 2 Media.  Voted by Inc 500 in 2011 as one of the fasted growing privately held companies, it helps drive live calls to top call centers.

 

People – November

It has been a very, very active period for announcements about people in the Yellow Pages industry.  This regular blog sponsored Hawthorne Executive Search  is all about people in the Yellow Pages industry. If you have news you want to share about someone that is involved in the Yellow Pages industry (including retirees) that we should all know about, drop us a line and tell us how they are doing. Send your submissions to ken@yptalk.com.

Joe Walsh:

Yell Group announced that Joe Walsh, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yellowbook, US, has agreed to step down to “pursue other interests”.  His interim successor is Bob Gregerson, the Group’s Chief Consumer Officer.  Gregerson has a substantial track record in managing and growing worldwide divisions for leading companies, with considerable experience in the launch, growth and transformation of direct sales and ecommerce initiatives. Gregerson will now “…extend his strong understanding and commitment to innovation to the direct benefit of Yell’s SME customers throughout the US….”

Mike Pocock, the company’s Group Chief Executive Officer, commented:  “I wish
to thank Joe for his significant contribution to Yell over the past 24 years.  He has played a key role in the transformation of the Group. Under his leadership, Yellowbook has grown from a small independent publisher in Long Island, New York, to a national leader in local search. Joe and I agree that the time is appropriate to make this transition, as the Group’s business model and marketplaces change. We are now starting to deliver our new strategic
initiatives, built on a successful foundation that Joe helped create. Our
succession process will be thorough and orderly, supported by the strong team
that Joe has built.”

For a recent article about Joe Walsh, click here.

Jenny Ashmore:

Yell also announced the appointment of Jenny Ashmore to the new role of group chief marketing officer.  Ashmore will take responsibility for Yell’s global marketing strategy and oversee its execution throughout the Group’s operations in the UK, US, Spain and Latin America.

Jenny’s appointment supports Yell’s strategy to transform from its established position in providing print and online advertising for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to become a leader in the emerging local eMarketplace.

John Fischer:

The Berry Company has picked John S. Fischer the company’s General Counsel and Secretary, as the Company’s Interim President and CEO upon the company’s
emergence from Chapter 11. At emergence, Mr. Fischer will replace current
Interim President and CEO Scott Brubaker, who is a Managing Director with
Alvarez & Marsal. Mr. Fischer will also serve as a member of the reorganized company’s Board of Directors.

“John’s tenure with Berry, his relationships inside and outside of the company, and his understanding of the evolving dynamics of the local search industry make him ideal for this role,” said Mr. Brubaker. “This appointment will provide the company with strong continuity of leadership at emergence, which we expect by the end of November.”

Fischer has served as Local Insight Media’s General Counsel and Secretary since June 2006. In addition to providing legal counsel for all the company’s transactions and major business dealings, he has provided business advice and decision-making as part of the company’s Executive Leadership team. Prior to joining the company, Fischer was Deputy General Counsel at Dex Media, where he focused on securities, commercial and transactional matters, including Dex Media’s $9.5 billion merger with R.H. Donnelley Corporation. His experience also includes serving as Managing Partner, Telecoms, of Logica Consulting, a European management consultancy. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University and holds JD and MBA degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Richard Halle:

The Berry Company also announced the appointment of Richard G.Halle as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Halle has more than 20 years of diverse financial management experience in the financial services sector and with other industries. Mr. Halle replaces Richard Jenkins, also from Alvarez & Marsal, who served as the company’s Interim Chief Financial Officer for the past two years.

“Richard Halle is a highly talented and experienced leader, with a unique combination of financial and business experience,” said Mr. Brubaker. “He has an impressive track record working in all aspects of finance – including planning, forecasting, budgeting, accounting and reporting – and will play a pivotal role on our senior executive team as we emerge from bankruptcy protection.”

Halle is the former Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of the Board of DTN Holding Company in Omaha, Nebraska, a business he joined as it was going through bankruptcy. After that company’s emergence, he spearheaded a successful transformation targeted at increasing revenue and operating profits, and played a key leadership role in enhancing product lines, strengthening value positions, and developing internal mechanisms to respond quickly to market demands and trends.  Prior to joining DTN, Halle was a Managing Director at FTI Consulting, Inc. in Denver, Colorado, where he specialized in analyzing company liquidity, evaluating competition and industry trends, and developing restructuring and sale strategies and proposals. He holds BA and MBA degrees from the University of New Hampshire.

Mark Lane:

The Berry Company announced that Mark J. Lane has been appointed Interim Senior Vice President, Client Services, replacing Kevin Payne, who recently left the business to pursue other opportunities. Mr. Lane has 25 years of sales experience with Berry supporting its independent line of business.
Prior to this position, he served in a variety of leadership and management
positions within the company, including Regional Vice President, General
Manager, Senior Director of Telco Relations and Regional Director. Mr. Lane
holds a degree in Business Administration from Miami University of Ohio.

Kevin Payne:

LocalEdge named Kevin Payne chief operating officer and he will be based at LocalEdge headquarters in Buffalo, NY. Previously, Payne was senior vice president for Local Insight Media, Berry Network and Cincinnati Bell.

LocalEdge CEO Jeff Folckemer said, “Kevin is a pioneer in the digital space and is looking forward to help lead our organization to the next level of digital transformation.”

Rorie Devine:

Devine has left the post of UK chief technology officer at Yell to take on the role of group chief information officer at United Business Media (UBM).  UBM is a
business information services firm which serves the technology, media,
financial services, media, healthcare and automotive industries. The company
owns press release distribution engine PR Newswire, as well as a range of
titles including Information Week and Music Week.

According to Devine, the main attractions of the job are around the way in which his new employer is utilising digital technologies to operate, as well as IT
complexities related to a string of business acquisitions made over recent years.

Scott Moore:

Yell announced the appointment of Scott Moore to the new role of Chief Digital Officer (CDO). Scott will lead the creation and development of Yell’s new generation of products and services that will enable small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers and their consumers to capitalize on the digital opportunity.

Moore joins Yell from MSN where, as Partner and Executive Producer, he was responsible for transforming Microsoft’s online consumer service, turning it into a valuable property which now attracts more than 125 million American consumers every month and drives adoption of Bing, Microsoft’s search service. Previously, Scott was Senior Vice President and Head of Media at Yahoo!, where he led Yahoo! to market leadership in News, Sports, Finance, Entertainment and Lifestyle. Earlier he held senior management roles at Microsoft businesses including MSNBC.com and Expedia Travel. He was also Publisher of Slate, Microsoft’s online magazine. Moore will report to Mike Pocock, Group Chief Executive Officer, and will be based at a new Yell office to be opened in Seattle, WA. The Seattle office will act as a central hub to co-ordinate Yell’s worldwide digital development activities.

Mike Pocock said: “Scott is a highly regarded senior executive with vast experience in building and turning around digital and online properties. At Yell, he will develop and execute the new products and services that will enable our more than 1.3 million SME customers and their consumers to take full advantage of the digital opportunity. Scott’s proven commercial track record and intimate knowledge in this space will bring a new clarity and energy to our rapidly expanding digital portfolio.”

Gretchen Zech:

Arrow Electronics, Inc. announced that Gretchen Zech has been named senior
vice president of global human resources for the company.  Zech will be
responsible for Arrow Electronics’ global human resources (HR) strategy and
operations, and serve as a member of the company’s executive committee. She
will oversee talent and performance management, professional development, and compensation and benefits initiatives for the company.

“Gretchen’s wealth of HR knowledge and leadership experience spanning over 20 years make her the ideal person for this important role,” said Michael J. Long, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Arrow Electronics. “Our people are our momentum, and Gretchen will lead the continued evolution of our global HR and talent programs.”

Zech joins Arrow Electronics from Dex One where she was senior vice president and chief HR officer since 2006.

George Burnett:

George Burnett, chief executive of Alta Colleges Inc., the parent company of Westwood College and Redstone College, will resign at the end of the month, but he will remain on the board of the privately held company, a spokesman said.

Burnett has led Alta and Westwood for the past five years, serving at a time when for-profit schools came under fire for high student default rates and aggressive sales tactics. Westwood’s alleged problems preceded Burnett, but they came to the fore in lawsuits and even a U.S. Senate hearing during his tenure. Burnett didn’t give a reason for his decision to leave his post.

Dean Gouin will replace Burnett as CEO, effective Oct. 1. Gouin is a 15-year veteran at the company, having filled positions in human resources, financial aid, career development services, and student services before becoming chief operating officer of Westwood College.

Burnett was in charge of the phone directory business at telecommunications company, Qwest, now CenturyLink, under then-CEO Joe Nacchio. Qwest was the target of a fraud lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission and an investigation by the Justice Department. Nacchio is serving a six-year prison sentence. Burnett was never targeted by these actions.

When Qwest sold its phone directory, and Burnett went on to become chief executive of Dex Media for a brief period where he led a leveraged buyout, an initial public offering and then a merger with rival R.H. Donnelley, which later went bankrupt.

People – April/May

It’s been another active month for announcements about people in
the Yellow Pages industry.  This regular monthly blog sponsored Hawthorne Executive Search  is all about people in the Yellow Pages industry. If you have news you want to share about someone that is involved in the Yellow Pages industry (including retirees) that we should all know about, drop us a line and tell us how they are doing. Send your submissions to ken@yptalk.com.

Ken Brock:

Ken Brock the founder and President of Names and Numbers has received, The Spirit of Pittsburg award from the Pittsburg, KS Area Chamber of Commerce during their annual meeting which was held Thursday, May 26th.

The Spirit of Pittsburg award is the highest honor bestowed by the association and recognizes an outstanding community member, who through his or her
service, volunteerism and personal sacrifice has made Pittsburg a better place
to live, expecting nothing in return. This outstanding citizen reflects a steady, positive influence on others in daily life.

The award was presented to Mr. Brock by the evening’s special guest, Kansas Governor, Sam Brownback.  During his presentation of the award, Governor Brownback spoke of a local Pittsburg, Kansas doctor, who was assisting victims of the recent Joplin, Missouri tornado. According to Brownback, the doctor stated, God put me in Joplin because I had the skill set to help out. Using the statement as a segue, the governor said, “he believed God put Ken Brock in Pittsburg, not to receive an award as the 2011 Spirit of Pittsburg but because of his skill set and commitment to the city.”

Upon accepting the award Brock noted that “I have made a commitment to the Pittsburg community since moving Names and Numbers to Pittsburg years ago. My wife Debbie and I travel a lot in our work. We travel to a lot of cool places. As soon as we arrive at these nice facilities, at these nice towns, it’s about three or four days before I say, Debbie, I’m home sick. I’m ready to go home now. No matter where I’ve been, I always look forward to getting back to Pittsburg.”

Richard Hanna

Dex One Corporation announced the addition of Richard J. Hanna, as executive vice president of sales and marketing, effective immediately.  Hanna will be responsible for all sales and marketing functions, leading the company’s transition from a product-centric to a customer-centric organization. He will also be tasked with shifting the sales force from a solo-selling model to a team-based approach to increase customer contact frequency and support the delivery of a wider portfolio of digital solutions. Hanna will be based at Dex One headquarters in Cary and report to the company’s CEO Alfred Mockett.

Hanna has held a variety of senior leadership positions at several technology and telecommunications companies, including AT&T, Cidera, MCI, MFS-Intelenet, Motive and Teligent.

“To compete in today’s marketplace we must build a world-class, 21st century sales force that is professionally trained and armed with the latest tools and technology. Rick has a wealth of experience assembling high-performance sales teams and he will ensure this gets done at Dex One,” said Mockett. “Rick has a solid track record of leading the sales and marketing functions in the hyper-competitive technology and telecom sectors; he understands what it takes to win in the marketplace and provide outstanding service and support to customers.”

As president of the small and medium business division at MCI, Hanna guided a $1.5 billion operation with 3,500 employees. He led the restructuring of the field and telemarketing sales efforts, resulting in a rapid double-digit improvement in sales and customer retention.

As president and CEO at MFS-Intelenet, he launched the nation’s first competitive local exchange carrier, growing the company at an annual rate in excess of 40 percent. The company had operations in 45 major markets, with more than 2,000 employees.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the sales transformation at Dex One. This is something I have successfully tackled several times throughout my career and understand the energy and effort required to reach the desired outcome,” said Hanna. “Dex One is at a pivotal time in its history and transformation is essential in order to return to growth.”

Early in his career, Hanna held a variety of management positions in sales and marketing in the telecom industry.  Hanna is a 1977 graduate of the University of
Central Connecticut.

Jim Hail:

The Association of Directory Publishers bestowed its highest distinction on Jim Hail, president and co-owner of Hagadone Directories, Inc. at the group’s recent annual conference.

Presentation of The Wil Lewis Award to Hail took place at the Gold Book Dinner and Awards Ceremony concluding ADP’s annual convention. The award recognizes outstanding lifetime contributions to the directory publishing industry and to the effectiveness of the Association. The Wil Lewis Award is named in honor of the late Wilbur Lewis, founder of White Directory Publishers and a three-time past ADP chairman.

“I am honored and humbled to be only the 11th recipient of The Wil Lewis Award,” Hail said. “It is, I believe, imperative for small directory companies like HDI to have a voice and influence in national industry issues.”

Hail founded HDI in 1987 and is twice past chairman of the board of the Association of Directory Publishers.

“What makes The Wil Lewis Award so prestigious is that it is bestowed not annually, but rather only when a nominee exceeds the lofty threshold set by Wil Lewis himself in the judgment of a minimum of 75 percent of the sitting Directors of the Association,” said Larry Angove, ADP president and chief executive officer.

In presenting the award to Hail together with Rick Lewis, former president and CEO of White Directory Publishers and son of Wilbur Lewis, Angove shared comments of longtime ADP leaders who nominated Hail for consideration.

One stated, “I don’t know where to start when it comes to Jim. He has put his heart and soul into ADP. As chairman of the board, publisher, mentor and teacher, I honestly cannot think of a better choice to receive The Wil Lewis Award.”

Hail is a former newspaper editor and publisher and was publisher of the Coeur d’Alene Press and president of the Hagadone North Idaho Newspaper Group prior to founding HDI. Today HDI publishes regional telephone directories in Idaho, Washington, Montana, Oregon and California.

Steve Blondy

Dex One Corporation has also  announced it has commenced a nationwide search for a new chief financial officer to fill the vacancy created by the pending
departure of current CFO Steven Blondy, 51, who will step down on or before
July 31, 2011.

“We thank Steve for his valuable service to Dex One and its predecessor company R.H. Donnelley. Since joining the company in 2002, Steve has played an important role in expanding operations and improving the company’s cost structure,” said Dex One Chief Executive Officer Alfred Mockett. “His contributions are wide-ranging and we wish him well going forward.”

The separation was mutually agreed upon by the company and Blondy, who will help ensure an orderly transition and receive benefits as outlined in his employment agreement.   A prominent search firm is engaged and is in the process of identifying and evaluating candidates.

Stéphane Marceau

Yellow Page Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, Stéphane Marceau, has left the company to pursue other career Interests. His resignation is effective immediately.

“Stéphane came to Yellow Media to lead the digital transformation including overseeing the development and overall marketing of digital and mobile products for the Company’s various brands.  Now, with this digital transformation well under way, we are grateful for his contribution and respect his decision,” said Marc P. Tellier, President and Chief Executive Officer, Yellow Media Inc.

Yellow Media has invested significantly over the last few years to expand the knowledge and capability of its marketing function. The current strong marketing executive team will continue to build on the momentum established and ensure continuity. Mr. Marceau will be a special advisor to the organization for a transition period.

Kathy Perez:

Announced that the Directory Assistance and Information Services Conference – Thriving on the Frontier has been scheduled for November 15th – 16th, 2011 at the Landmark Hyatt Regency, Dallas TX.

“Following on the success of last year’s inaugural event we have created a compelling agenda to provide you with the strategies you need and exceptional networking opportunities.   We are pleased to be teaming up with The Paisley
Group to host THE industry event this year.  We have created one single
event that will bring together everyone in the industry for an outstanding
conference. “

Early bird discounts are available at the Paisley Group Conference site. 

YPA Conference Summary

At a time when a significant number of the industry’s top publishers are struggling financially, a slew of municipalities are pushing required opt-on/opt-out legislation for the printed products, and a substantial economic downturn/weak recovery has small businesses keeping a tight grip on their advertising expenditures, one would expect the annual industry conference from the Yellow Pages Association to be a somber gathering with lots of doom and gloom.  Yet, that wasn’t the case at the April 15th – 19th event held in Las Vegas.  It was certainly not an overly exuberant crowd of about 375 attendees, but one that overall was more optimistic than those who attended last year’s event.

Association Name Change

First, the association has made a bold move to rebrand itself as the “Local Search Association,” Association President Neg Norton indicated that the name change has been under consideration for some time and that “no one on the board [of Directors] thought we should keep doing what we are doing.” The association’s press release noted that:

The Local Search Association represents the best local search marketers in the world. We will continue to serve our long-time Yellow Pages members as well as the ever-expanding universe of companies that connect local buyers and sellers through digital advertising, social networking and mobile platforms.  

The obvious question is whether the name change is purely cosmetic, or does it truly represent a real shift in the association’s mission, and why.  The association is rumored to be after some name players such as Microsoft and Google.  The association’s press release provided some other insights on the name change: 

In the past decade, our industry has evolved from a coalition of companies that publish print directories into a collective group of integrated local search hubs – both in print and online. Because we’re expanding on our original mission of serving Yellow Pages publishers, the Local Search Association is pleased to have these new members – CityGrid, MerchEngine, Kudzu, Telnic Limited, Kenshoo, Thrive Analytics, deCarta, dotMobi, VendAsta Technologies and NO PROBLEM, because they face many of the same opportunities and challenges as our traditional member base.

Given that recent association research indicated that while nearly 70% of US adults still use the printed version of the Yellow Pages directories on a regular basis, the Internet and fast growing mobile web are certainly drawing increased usage. As a result, the association thought the time had come for a re-focusing of sorts that presents the Yellow Pages as more than just print and a readily available online local search tool.

Joe Walsh, the President/CEO of Yellow Book, and now the new association board chairman (who would have thought that would have happened just 5 years ago) commented that “our new brand reflects the transformation of Yellow Pages companies into integrated marketing and local search solutions providers, and better positions us to attract new members.”

Marc Tellier – YPG – “At the apex of transformation”

Among other notable presentations at the conference, one of particular interest was a discussion with Yellow Pages Group CEO Marc Tellier.  He said the “the next three years will bring more change for the Yellow Pages industry than the past three.”  Given the rocky performance of the industry during this extended economic downturn, such a predication was sure to make more than a few attendees uncomfortable.  Other comments from Tellier included:

  • That small/midsize businesses (SMB’s) are an “overwhelmed and underserved” group.
  • When he started some ten plus years ago, 51% of sales force contacts were premise/face to face. Today, that has increased to 76%
  • Based on the full suite of products YPG is selling, the potential market for YPG in Canada is four times that of just the traditional Yellow Pages market
  • The CMR segment needs to consolidate. Leading CMRs have “invested in research and product knowledge, while small CMR shops often do not.”  (The recent implosion of the largest CMR – TMP, was a hot topic in the hallways at the conference)
  • Investment is critical, that YPG has been more aggressive than other directory organizations. And bucking the trend of many publishers, that outsourcing is not his preferred route.

Neg Norton – Association President – A busy time at Association

In Norton’s presentation, he provided a number of compelling stats on changes in the local advertising marketplace:

  • Mobile advertising will grow from 15% of the online advertising market to more than 60% in 2015 (Borrell Associates).
  • Nearly half of SMBs report using Facebook for their business (BIA/Kelsey research), and another 19% use Twitter.
  • Social networking sites now account for more than one-third of all online display ad impressions according to Comscore.
  • More than a third of SMBs increased their use of links and ads on social media sites over the past year, and nearly half planned further increases over the next year
  • And when you add all of that up, of most importance to the industry — 56% of small businesses who will spend on search or social media advertising in 2011 will need help with some aspect of the campaigns (American Express)

No one can deny the statistics Norton covered on the growing use of mobile products:

  • GPS capable handsets grew 16% year over year and now represent 73% of total US mobile users.
  • Smart phones grew 54% and now reflect 28% of total US mobile users.
  • Nearly 70 million people in the U.S. owned smart phones in February 2011 an increase of 13% from the preceding 3 month period.

While these are alarming changes, Norton noted that all of these changes represent a tremendous growth opportunity for the industry.  Norton also provided a status on the usage of Yellow Pages:

  • In 2010, print and internet yellow pages together generated 16.6 billion searches versus 16.9 billion in 2009, a reduction of less than 2%  
  • Print Yellow Pages usage declined 8% from 12 to 11 billion in 2010
  • IYP searches increased 15% to 5.6 billion.
  • The average IYP searcher conducted 4.9 searches during December 2010, a 12% increase from a year earlier

New Board of Directors:

The conference also brought the election of a new board of directors for the Association.  Elected publisher representatives include:   

  • Peter McDonald, SuperMedia
  • Scott Brubaker, Berry
  • Jose Gutierrez, AT&T
  • Alfred Mockett, Dex One
  • Joe Walsh, Yellowbook.
  • Marc Tellier, Yellow Pages Group – International Director

CMR representatives are:

  • Chris Cummings, Marquette Group
  • Norm Hagarty, DAC Group
  • Sharon Sweeney, Fairway Group  
  • Kathleen Decaire-Aden, SMG Directory Marketing

Bill Dinan of Telmetrics is the Associates board representative.

Environment:

Environmental issues continue to be a big item on the Associations agenda.  Norton talked more about efforts in San Francisco, to stop new opt-in legislation.  The Association was joined in a unique coalition fighting effort by groups such as Valley Yellow Pages, AT&T, Seccion Amarilla, the IBEW labor union, The Utility Reform Network, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, ADP association, Chinese Yellow Pages, Rainbow Pages, and other local consumer advocate and business groups.

 Norton highlighted industry successes in recycling rates.  Last year, according to the EPA, directory recycling rates improved from 22% to 35%.   This represents a dramatic shift in both source reduction and recycling rates. 

In our next article, we will cover presentations from other speakers, what we found at the conference from the industry suppliers, and those companies recognized in the annual Industry Excellence Awards.  Stay tuned.

People – January

It’s been a busy, busy month for announcements about people in the Yellow Pages industry.  This regular monthly blog sponsored Hawthorne Executive Search is all about people in the Yellow Pages industry. If you have news you want to share about someone that is involved in the Yellow Pages industry (including retirees) that we should all know about, drop us a line and tell us how they are doing. Send your submissions to ken@yptalk.com.

Donna Towles:

Dex One Corporation announced the promotion of Donna Towles to senior vice president of operations, effective immediately. Towles, a seasoned executive with a proven track record for driving operational change, most recently served as vice president of publishing and client care.

In this newly created position, which will report to Dex One Chief Executive Officer Alfred Mockett, Towles will direct the modernization of the company’s operational systems to better support the delivery of integrated service bundles to local business customers.

“As we drive transformational change across the Dex One enterprise, having knowledgeable, experienced leaders who understand our operations and underlying systems is critically important to our success,” said Mr. Mockett. “Donna is an invaluable leader at Dex One with a strong understanding of what it takes to drive transformational change across the enterprise. We welcome Donna to the Dex One leadership team.”

During Towles’ tenure with Dex One, she has directed a number of enterprise-wide efforts to drive greater operational effectiveness and efficiencies, improve the accuracy and reliability of the company’s information systems, and develop strategies to migrate legacy processes to a more integrated operating environment.

“The opportunity to add responsibilities and help transform who we are today is very compelling,” said Ms. Towles. “I am very passionate about this business and providing industry-leading service and support to our customers. We have made significant progress modernizing many of our operational systems and look forward to continuing this work in 2011 and beyond.”

Sharon Sweeney:

Effective December 31, 2010, Sharon has left Nationwide Media.  With 29 years in the business and 20 of those years with Nationwide, she indicated that the time is right to move to the next stage begin her new company.

Fairway Group is an advertising agency with its roots in the print medium with growth into the current and future technologies from internet applications and advertising to mobile, social networking, and cable.  The #1 goal of Fairway is to plan, promote, and place advertising with the media that best fits the advertiser’s current and future goals.

Contact information for the new company is:  Fairway Group, 461-1/2 Cochran Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, Telephone: (323)243-6444

Kathleen DeCaire-Aden:

Effective January 5th, Kathleen DeCaire-Aden has returned to lead SMG’s Directory Marketing unit.  During her eight prior years with SMG Directory Marketing, she was integral to growth of this unit, evolving it to an integrated local directory marketing offering that spanned digital and mobile—harnessing its potential far beyond its print roots.

For this effort, Kathleen is expected to focus on helping clients from MediaVest, Starcom and Spark better leverage the company’s next-generation directory marketing capability across all these areas, as well as mastering the emerging social opportunities in this space.

Atish Banerjea:

Dex One Corporation announced that Atish Banerjea, has joined the company as senior vice president and chief technology officer, effective Jan. 10, 2011.

Mr. Banerjea will be responsible for all information technology, engineering and interactive product development. He will be based at the company headquarters in Cary and report to Dex One CEO Alfred Mockett as part of the company’s senior leadership team.

Mr. Banerjea spent the last 10 years with Pearson PLC, a $9 billion international media group.  While at Pearson, Mr. Banerjea was credited with helping direct that company’s transformation from a print-dominated business to a digital leader. Responsible for the global oversight and management of Pearson’s technology initiatives and systems, as well as infrastructure for Pearson worldwide, he managed a team of more than 1,800, including contractors, with additional oversight of product development groups totaling 2,500.

“Attracting an individual with the talent and experience of Atish demonstrates our ability to execute on a key part of our strategy,” said Mr. Mockett. “We intend to assemble an industry-leading management team to build next-generation technology platforms for our customers and implement the operational changes and growth initiatives that will drive sales and position Dex One on a path to growth.

“With his proven team building skills I fully expect Atish to quickly assemble the world-class technology team we desire for Dex One.”

“There could be no more exciting time to join a company like Dex One,” said Mr. Banerjea. “Dex One’s commitment to become a leader in the digital marketing revolution as it plays out on the front lines — in local communities across the nation — is clear and unwavering. As the opportunity to develop new products and applications with a clear sense of urgency fits my ambition and skills, Dex One best offers me great opportunity and clear potential to make significant contributions to the company’s transformation.”

Prior to his promotion to executive vice president at Pearson in 2005, Mr. Banerjea held positions as senior vice president, technology strategy and architecture and chief technology officer and vice president, systems infrastructure, at Pearson Education.   Early in his career Mr. Banerjea held a full-time tenure track faculty position at the University of Wisconsin as assistant professor, computer information systems (CIS) responsible for teaching all the advanced CIS courses for the undergraduate computer information systems program, as well as conducting research in support of teaching assignments.

Mr. Banerjea is a 1988 graduate of the University of Delhi and also has a master’s degree with a major in computer information systems from Temple University. He is married with two children and will be relocating with his family to the Cary area.

Lois Antelo:

ASEC International has announced that Lois Antelo has joined the company as Director of Business Development.

Lois has been a prominent participant in the Yellow Pages industry for the past twenty seven years, and joins ASEC from United Yellow Pages where she was director of business operations.  Her career at United spans twenty two years where she held positions in national sales, sales management, training, and operations management.

In addition to her responsibilities at United Yellow Pages, Lois has served on the Association of Directory Publishers (ADP) board for the past seven years with her most recent position as the Vice Chairman.  She has been involved with several committees including the program committee and the membership committee.

Lois is a graduate of the University of California.  She brings to ASEC an in-depth knowledge of the Yellow Pages industry, strong strategic, business development, and management skills, and an unyielding enthusiasm for this industry.  She can be reached at lois.antelo@asecusa.com.

Jim Smith:

Jim Smith has joined Valley Yellow Pages as the Central Coast regional vice president, working out of the Aptos office. His region includes Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, San Jose, Campbell, Los Altos, Palo Alto, San Mateo and San Francisco. He has more than 25 years of Yellow Page experience and relocated to Santa Cruz County.

View From The Corner Office: An interview with Dave Goddard, Simba Information

Perhaps no one issue is more relevant, current, or strategically important for the Yellow Pages industry right now than  some of the recent environmental challenges it has faced.  Up until recently the industry had managed to fight back most efforts. But a new ordinance passed by the Seattle City Council which would levee new registration fees for publishers, require mandatory opt-out compliance, and impose significant new waster recovery fees per book distributed has now brought the issue to the fore front.

Simba Information, led by Senior Analyst of the Yellow Pages Group, David Goddard, has released a comprehensive new report covering the full spectrum of the topic entitled Going Green:  Environmental Challenges in the Yellow Pages industry 2010. Goddard is a recognized authority on the industry having covered it since 1997.  He oversees the content gathering and presentation of Simba’s Yellow Pages & Directory Report and numerous related research reports. This work is an exceptional piece covering not only the general industry issues, but also provides readers with more detailed views inside most of the major publisher efforts.

We recently sat down with Goddard to further discuss his views on this hot topic. Enjoy.

YPT: How was this study assembled??

GODDARD:   Generally, Simba gathers the information for a report for about a year, which gives some solid trend lines. We then analyze the information and publish it. We have tracked the environmental impact on the industry for the past few years but this year Seattle brought the impact on the industry right to the forefront. While we discovered the industry has become more green over the past few years—primarily since the beginning of the PSI hearings in 2007 — it may be too little and too late. A number of states  and municipalities are already looking closely at the cost of yellow pages recycling just as Seattle did and may decide to recoup the money.   Seattle is going to charge the publishers as much as $600,000 at year to do business in their community. That will probably look very inviting to legislators.

YPT:  Is your overall sense that the industry understands how serious an issue this really is?

GODDARD:   Absolutely, I remember the first few environmental meetings that came up in 2007 & 2008. The publishers were surprised by the environmental issue as it pertained to their industry.  But, now they have educated themselves and a great deal of the credit goes to the YPA and ADP associations.  The publishers now work hard to making recycling of yellow pages directories more convenient and have gotten behind the green movement. However, the challenge is quite large because publishers are dealing with individual states and municipalities.

YPT:  In YP Talk articles we recently suggested that this lawsuit may not be a totally bad thing for this industry.  It could almost be viewed as an inexpensive public relations effort from the industry.  Do you agree??

GODDARD:   It is likely there will be a more united industry. Seattle is already proving itself to be a good example: two of the RBOCs and the YPA have filed the suit against the city ordinance and Yellowbook, which also distributed in the city, has thrown support behind them.   The money that will be owed to Seattle if this ordinance is upheld is really going to pinch. And, it won’t take long for environmental groups in cities like Chicago, which are already in contact with Seattle, to look to do the same.   Publishers may well have to pay to distribute in some of the cities and communities. Hopefully, both sides in Seattle will come up with a compromise that will work for publishers and the city. What that compromise would be, I’m not sure but I suspect they will be looking for one.

YPT:  Publishers have suggested that opt-out rates are only about 1% of the total delivery , and that it is a small fragment doing all the complaining/blogging about the issue while rest of the community isn’t really engaged in the discussion.

GODDARD:   Those statistics sound about right from what I’m hearing but the issue has now moved into the political arena.  If the Seattle model expands, communities across the U.S. are going to ask taxpayers if they want to continue to pay for recycling phone books or send a bill to yellow pages publishers.  I think the taxpayers’ answer is pretty obvious. Communities are going to go for the money. So, even if it’s only 1% of the households that don’t want the book delivered, the political arena is likely to give communities the legal right to send Joe Walsh a bill.  The publishers have to pay the bill, go to court in an attempt to have the ordinance overturned or come up with a compromise.

YPT:  Wouldn’t the process agreed to in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area be the better route for all parties (agreement to set up a single source opt-out program with fees involved.   So, I think me the issues is that if there were no fees involved then say you have to offer the opt-out I don’t think that would bother anyone.

GODDARD:  Minneapolis/St. Paul was a good compromise but communities are always looking for additional revenue.  While cooperation with business is a goal, the Seattle model is an opportunity to offset some expenses. It would be nice for the industry if the Seattle model doesn’t spread but it’s pretty likely that it will.

YPT:  Specific to the Seattle ordinance, it seems that the ordinance champion, Councilman O’Brien, really has his eyes on a bigger loft (State House).

GODDARD:  Yes, you’re right.  Who’s going to be against cleaning up a community?  O’Brien told Simba in a recent interview: “If you produce it, you should pay to get rid of it.”  And, who can successfully argue with that?

YPT:  In which key areas do you think we’re going to similar legislation come up with next?

GODDARD: My understanding is that environmental groups in Chicago are looking to Seattle but don’t want the legal bill, so they are waiting to see what happens.  How long will a court case like this last – 18 months to 3 years?  It’s certainly going to take a while, so I expect we’ll see a lot of communities watching and waiting. If the Seattle ordinance is upheld, communities are likely to follow the model. Two RBOCs and the YPA, which represents a major portion of the business, have recognized the danger of a strong fee-based environmental model and drawn the line in Seattle.

YPT:  But if they lose?

GODDARD:  Those flood gates are going to open if they lose.  It will be costly to the publishers in Seattle and most likely will become expensive in other communities as well. Since the stakes are so large, a settlement really seems likely.

YPT:  You indicated that one of the things that surprised you in your work on this publication was how green the publishers have become.  Tell us more about that.

GODDARD:   Basically, unlike previous years, we’re seeing a lot of progress. In past years we would search the publishers’ web sites and find that opt-out was available but the procedure was difficult. A person who wanted to opt out often had to hunt through the site, follow many steps and sometimes end up placing a phone call to the publisher rather than an online procedure.   But this year it has gotten pretty easy.  And, the YPA and the ADP, which has their own opt-out site, are about to take it national.  So the industry really is going ‘green’ and working toward recycling—that is the big difference from past years.  Back in 2006 before the PSI (Product Stewardship Institute, an environmental advocacy group) meetings, you often couldn’t find yellow pages recycling information anywhere on a publisher’s site. By 2010 a resident can opt out of a book or find the closest recycling center without much difficulty all across the country.

YPT:  Publishers have indicated that the actual opt-out rates are running under 1%, and have slowed to a trickle.  How do you view this result??

GODDARD:   What opt-out does is create a choice and Seattle is a good example because three of the largest yellow pages publishers—Dex, Super Media and Yellow Book—distribute directories in the market. What is likely to happen is two of those publishers will be “opted-out” and a household will receive one book. Environmentalist groups seem to really get fired up when multiple publishers deliver multiple books multiple times a year. Many, many books then arrive at the landfill or recycling center, which is a great photo opportunity. That’s what draws attention and that’s where they see unnecessary costs to the taxpayer.  An average yellow pages user may not even recognize the differences between books delivered to their home, never mind the difference between incumbent and independent.   Given an opt-out choice, I doubt there will be many residents that love the yellow pages so much that they want to receive all three. I just don’t see that happening and with a door-to-door campaign like the one planned by Seattle environmentalists, the opt-out option will definitely come to the surface.

YPT:  If you were leading a print Yellow Pages publishing operation, what steps would you be taking now?

GODDARD:   Basically they have to get into Seattle and file a suit that points out the defects in the ordinance, including the question of why yellow pages publishers need a permit to operate in the city but newspaper publishers don’t.  There are a number of questions raised by the Seattle ordinance that appear to fly in the face of the First Amendment.  While the publishers have to make an expensive stand in Seattle, it can also be an opportunity.  It may well be in the best interest of the industry to find a compromise that becomes a model across the country rather than kill the Seattle ordinance in court and face continuous battles in other communities.

The yellow industry is going greener while the environmental groups are getting stronger, more united and savvy with working with politicians. This entire issue really came to the forefront on the East Coast when Verizon Information Services [now SuperMedia] split its big book in Boston into three regional editions. The issue has now spread across the country to the West Coast and the environmentalists and publishers are in this together. As Sieg Fischer, president of Valley Yellow Pages, said at the PSI dialogue at the Seattle EPA office a couple of years ago, “We all live on this planet; maybe we can work this out together.”  The Seattle ordinance and lawsuit could supply that cooperation.

And lastly, the PSI group has some real credibility and they have influence all over the country.  The institute, which has been involved with multiple industries ranging from batteries to pesticides, seems to know how to work with environmentalists and businesses.  The wisest course of action may be to work more closely with PSI to find a compromise. They may wear green shoes, but the truth of the matter is that they are pretty savvy.

YPT:  How much is the report and how can someone order a copy?

GODDARD:   The report costs $2,995 for an online download and this is the link: http://www.simbainformation.com/pub/2648050.html

People – December

This regular monthly blog sponsored Hawthorne Executive Search is all about people in the Yellow Pages industry. If you have news you want to share about someone that is involved in the Yellow Pages industry (including retirees) that we should all know about, drop us a line and tell us how they are doing. Send your submissions to ken@yptalk.com.

David Gilbert:

Ziplocal’s VP-Sales, Eastern Division – Dave Gilbert will be leaving the company effective December 3rd to return to college for another degree (he is considering teaching at university level) and to work with various charitable organizations.

Dave has had a long and successful career in the Yellow Pages industry have started in 1984 with BellSouth Advertising & Publishing.  He left in 1993 to start his own company, the Neighborhood Yellow Pages, which was later to sold to Volt (DataNational) in 1998.  Following the sale, he served as Chief Operating Officer for DataNational until 2008 when the company was acquired by Yellow Pages Group (YPG).  Following the sale, he served as the company’s VP of US Sales. When YPG sold the company to Ziplocal in April, 2010, Dave was appointed the VP-Sales, Eastern Division.

We wish Dave the best in his future endeavors.  Whatever he chooses to work on, there is no doubt he will be successful at it.

Charles Ruppman:

Charles Ruppman recently died at the age of 95 in Tualatin, Ore., where he lived for the past four years.  Ruppman parlayed his experience with the Yellow Pages directory into a thriving company while setting up one of the first call centers in the country.  After working for R. H. Donnelly, Ruppman moved to Peoria in 1962.

“He originally worked with Thompson Advertising and developed the Yellow Pages division here. Later, Bob Thompson died and he set up Ruppman Advertising,” said son Charles T. Ruppman.  “He went on to grow the business and be very successful. He developed three separate companies. There was Ruppman Advertising, Ruppman Yellow Pages and Today’s Merchandising,” he said.  Ruppman later went to New York to negotiate with Time-Life for the purchase of a telephone call center in Peoria, one of the first in the country.

The business kept growing after Ruppman retired in the 1970s as his son developed Ruppman Marketing Services, which expanded the call-center functions out to three buildings in Peoria. In the 1980s, Ruppman’s firm fielded most of the 800-number calls that customers made across the country from the Peoria offices.  The Ruppman company was sold in 2004 and renamed Affina.

“Without him and his drive and foresight, none of it would have happened. Our products and services were known all over the United States,” said Charles T. Ruppman of the Ruppman companies, which at their peak employed about 2,400 people nationwide – more than 600 in Peoria.  “He was a big part of the Peoria community,” his son said, adding that he “engaged in a number of community service campaigns.”

Michael Pawlowski, David Bethea, Del Humenik, and Steven Nord

SuperMedia has announced several changes to their Executive Vice President Sales.  East EVP Sales – Michael Pawlowski, has retired after more than 25 years of service and West EVP Sales – West David Bethea, has announced his intent to pursue other opportunities.

Two new Executive Vice Presidents (EVPs) will oversee the sales operations in the East and West.  Effective immediately, long time industry veteran Del Humenik will lead the East Sales operation as EVP Sales – East.  Humenik rejoins SuperMedia after his departure in 2003.  Prior to his departure, he was employed by the SuperMedia predecessor companies for more than 19 years, holding positions of increasing responsibility in the Sales organization. Most recently, Humenik worked for Paychex Inc. as Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing.  He also held senior sales positions with Sprint, Dex and R.H. Donnelley.

Steven Nord who initially started with SuperMedia as a sales consultant, and will now serve as interim EVP Sales – West.  Nord, who has worked for Dex, SBC and Ameritech, is very familiar with the SuperMedia business.  He began his work in the Yellow Pages industry at L.M. Berry, and his career spans more than three decades.

Michael Pocock:

Yell is appointing a new CEO January 1st – Michael Pocock, a former SVP and GM from Cisco’s Linksys home networking division. The announcement ended a six-month search for a successor to John Condron, who has led Yell for 16 years.

From 2006 to 2009, Pocock was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Linksys, the home and SME networking division of Cisco Systems. Prior to Linksys, he was President and Chief Executive of Polaroid Corporation, which he joined in 2003, leading the recovery of the company to profitability and being instrumental in its sale to Peters Group Worldwide. From 1996 to 2002, Michael worked with Compaq Computer Corporation, in roles including Senior Vice President of its Commercial PC business and Senior Vice President for Worldwide Strategy. Prior to that, from 1993 to 1996, he was Vice President and General Manager of the Personal Computing Business of Digital Equipment Corporation.

Pocock started his career with General Electric Company and has also held senior positions in Epson America, Murata Business Systems and Xerox Corporation. From 2003 to 2007, he was on the Board of Stratus Technologies and, from 2005 to 2007, he was on the Board of Wyse Computer.

Pocock has A BA in Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky and has MBA studies at the University of Dallas.

Bob Wigley, Chairman of Yell, said: “We very much welcome Mike. He brings impressive leadership skills and experience from his considerable success in a range of businesses, which made him stand out from a strong candidate list and suit him ideally to the challenges and opportunities of Yell. With the arrival of our new CFO designate and the appointment of Mike, we have the right team in place to manage a seamless succession and to take Yell forward in the next stages of its development.”

UPDATE:  12/9/2010:

Peter McDonald was made the permanent CEO at SuperMedia:  http://bit.ly/fgp9nk