Tag Archives: Hawthorne Executive Search

People – October

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.

Amy Healy & Wesley Young:

Amy Healy has left the Local Search Association to join YP Holdings, LLC as its Vice President, Public Policy & External Affairs.

The Association then announced that Wesley Young has been appointed their new Vice President of Public Policy. From 2007-2012, Young was General Counsel for two financial services companies and served on the Executive Board of AFCC (The American Fair Credit Council) as its Legislative Director, managing all federal and state government affairs for six years. Prior to that, Wesley was with the law firm Baron & Budd, P.C. for 10 years. Wesley received the 2008 Outstanding Minority Attorney Award from the Dallas Bar Association and was named by D Magazine in its list of Best Lawyers Under 40 in 2006. He served as the 2010 Secretary-Treasurer for the Dallas Bar Association and as a Director on the Board from 2007-2008. Wesley was recognized with the TASC President’s Award in 2009 and 2010 and served as President of the Dallas Asian American Bar Association in 2008. Wesley was a member of Panel B2 of the District 6A Grievance Committee of the State Bar of Texas from 2001-2007 and became chair during his last two years of service. He is a past-Chair of the Asian Pacific Interest Section of the State Bar of Texas. He is admitted to practice law by the State Bar of Texas and is a member of the Dallas Bar Association and a fellow of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers. Wesley received his B.B.A., cum laude, from Baylor University in 1992 and his J.D. from Baylor Law School in 1995.

Michael Dunn 

SuperMedia’s CIO, Michael Dunn received the Top 10 Breakaway Leaders award from the CIO Leadership Network.   This year’s awards focused on the theme of Business Acceleration and Leadership in the Evolving Global Economy – Predict. Transform. Deliver.

“Michael’s vision, leadership and overall business acumen led the transformation of our architecture from a print centric company to a digital-focused one. His passion has earned the respect of his colleagues, peers and staff,” said Frank Gatto, EVP Operations at SuperMedia. “Michael and his team are always delivering excellence and exceeding expectations in a fast-paced, results-driven environment.”

Each year, a panel of elite CIOs chooses a list of 10 Breakaway Leaders who exemplify leadership, dedication and influence as a CIO. This is the only CIO awards program where winners are determined by the CIO peer community alongside an elite judging panel. Dunn was selected to join elite CIOs from companies such as Alcoa, Lockheed Martin, PepsiCo, and Sysco Corporation.

Jonathan Miller

YP recently announced the appointment of Jonathan Miller to the company’s Board of Directors.  Mr. Miller most recently served as Chief Digital Officer of News Corporation as well as Chairman and CEO of the company’s Digital Media Group. He continues to serve as an advisor to News Corporation.  In those roles, Mr. Miller successfully transformed News Corporation’s digital strategy by integrating the company’s content onto emerging, third-party internet platforms. In addition to leading News Corporation’s overall online strategy, Mr. Miller also oversaw the company’s standalone digital businesses globally and represented the company on Hulu’s Board of Directors.

Dorab Patel & Alex Dionysian

MatchCraft, a leading global provider of local search marketing solutions, announced the promotions of two key members of its leadership team. Cofounder Dorab Patel, PhD, has been appointed Chief Science Officer and Alex Dionysian has been promoted to the role of Chief Technology Officer.

Patel, who cofounded MatchCraft in 1998, has more than 20 years of technology and management experience in the software industry. Dionysian, who joined MatchCraft in 2008 as VP of Engineering, is also a 20-year veteran of the software industry, and is responsible for technology, product design and client deployments at MatchCraft.

“MatchCraft has a staff of highly skilled and dedicated people with a terrific track record of client success,” said Sean Greene, CEO. “We are fortunate to be able to leverage the unmatched experience and technological expertise of Dorab and Alex. Under their direction, we are well positioned to continue to deliver unparalleled products and services to our clients, while advancing our mission in key regions around the world.”

The management moves round out the company’s leadership team, which is led by Greene, who was appointed in September 2011. Since becoming CEO, Greene has been driving the company’s growth strategy and has been instrumental in expanding its presence in the U.S., Europe and Australia.

Scott Pomeroy & Chris Armistead:

Yellow’s (NZ) CEO Scott Pomeroy, who led a restructuring of the company around a reseller partnership with Google, was recently replaced by Chris Armistead, who comes to Yellow from AT&T.

James Tanner:

Earlier this summer James was promoted from Research Specialist to Senior Research Director at Ver-A-Fast Corporation.



Exploding Common Employee Myths in the Yellow Page Industry

At the recent Local Search Association conference, one of the most informative sessions came from a team of presenters – Robert Hawthorne from Hawthorne Executive Search, and Michael Taylor from BIA/Kelsey.

The two covered results of a recent survey of media sales reps and shared their observations from the field.  Hawthorne’s presentation was particular insightful because he covered six common employment myths in the marketplace.

Robert Hawthorne is an excellent speaker for this topic.  In 2011, Hawthorne Search’s team of 6 full time sales recruiters placed over 150 local market sales reps.  In 2012 YTD, the company has placed over 50 sales reps in 22 cities.  Their client list spans local search, technology, media companies focused on SMB’s.

Here are the marketplace myth’s he covered

Myth #1: overall unemployment rate parallel with local market sales reps

  • Reality: Even in the depths of recession, sales reps were still in demand

Myth #2: Reps are happy since my turnover is down

  • Reality: Strong pent up demand as many reps chose to “ride out recession” and are now active interviewing

Myth #3: Base salaries haven’t increased due to economic conditions

  • Reality: In Tier 1 markets, $60-65k base salaries common, Tier 2 $50k minimum, small markets $40-45k average

Myth #4: Local search companies need only worry about other Yellow Page industry companies poaching

  • Reality: Yellow Pages/Local Search companies have been known for great training, coaching, sales development, many other factors which make your people VERY attractive to other industries.

Myth #5: If I lose sales staff, it will be easy to find a replacement

  • Reality: In many markets, even large base salaries no guarantee of robust candidate supply.  Simply put, there are only so many “top performers” available in any given market

Myth #6: Job ads on the boards will get me a replacement

  • Reality: strong decrease in our posting results across all active job boards in past 2 years

In talking about the sales survey conducted, Hawthorne also covered “What Your Sales People Want”:

  • Stability.  Many reps will eschew the start up in social media if they think their company is stable
  • Resume Builder.  Does your company allow your rep to keep their resume “hot”  Selling new technology a way to keep reps from leaving
  • Flexibility. Work from home, flex hours, flex vacation, etc. particularly with young set very important
  • What They Want to Earn — $80k minimum by year 2 with no less than 50% of that in base salary

On finding sales talent, Hawthorne had a couple of simple, basic fundamental suggestions:

  • Jobs that don’t have minimum $40k base virtually impossible to recruit for
  • Cell phone, laptop, paid expenses, etc. all very important to today’s rep.  Sell the package, not just the base salary.
  • Benefits important, be specific


To find out more about Hawthorne Executive Search, go to their website at www.hawthornesearch.com, or contact Robert directly at robert@hawthornesearch.com, 910-798-1800.


People – March

We are a little behind in our updates of  people in the Yellow Pages industry.  This regular blog sponsored by 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.

Neal Polachek:

BIA/Kelsey has announced that Neal Polachek, president of for the past three years, has left the company. Rick Ducey has been is promoted to managing director supervising research, Continuous Advisory Services (CAS) programs and consulting services.  Matt Booth was named chief strategy officer. Matt will continue to run the Interactive Local Media (ILM) advisory service and provide leadership for consulting practices and conferences. Bobbi Loy-Luster has been given an expanded role as vp of client services, including overseeing CAS programs and the company’s new competitive benchmarking. Peter Krasilovsky, vice president and program director, will now serve an expanded role as conference chairman.

Peter Broadbent:

Peter Broadbent has been named vice president, investor relations & marketing, at Photronics Inc., a leader in supplying photomask-based imaging solutions for global electronics and display industries.  Broadbent had spent 25 years at Wahlstrom Group, where he was CEO. He served on the Local Search Association Board of Directors, as well as the National Marketing Division Advisory Council.

Matt Anderson:

Yellow Pages publisher Yell has appointed Matt Anderson to the new role of chief strategy and business development officer.  His task will be to spearhead the group’s strategy of providing digital services to small and medium-sized businesses, as its sales of paper directories decline.

Anderson had worked with Yell on this strategy, which was unveiled last July, while he was a senior adviser at US consultancy Booz & Company.

Yell chief executive Mike Pocock said Anderson had ‘played an instrumental role’ in developing the new strategy.

Linda Kennedy:

Yell also announced the appointment of Linda Kennedy to the new role of Group Human Resources Director. Kennedy will lead organizational change and support the integration of Yell’s global business in the UK, US, Spain and some countries in Latin America.

Kennedy joins Yell from UK mobile operator Everything Everywhere, the joint venture between Orange and T Mobile; she held the role of chief change officer, reporting to the CEO and delivered the integration of the two businesses.

Previously, she was group HRD at international service company Serco, where among her responsibilities were the development of a people strategy and the implementation of a leadership and talent management framework.

Based at Yell’s corporate headquarters in Reading, UK, Kennedy will report to Mike Pocock, Yell’s CEO. She will be responsible for building a group-wide HR capability to support the executive group and deliver organizational change.

Bruce Akhurst, Rick Ellis:

Bruce Akhurst who headed Telstra’s Yellow Pages directory business, Sensis will leave the company in May.  Telstra Chief Executive David Thodey said in a statement that, despite a challenging print environment, Sensis had managed to maintain strong print revenues compared with its global peers and had started its transition into a fully digital capable media business.

The company said Rick Ellis, group managing director of Telstra Digital Media, would be acting chief executive of Sensis while a replacement for Akhurst was sought.

“I have enjoyed my time as CEO of Sensis. It is time now for a change and I look forward to exploring new opportunities,” he said in a statement

Sebastien Provencher:

Sebastien Provencher, one of the most prolific bloggers in the industry, has announced he is leaving Needium, the company he co-founded. Provencher recently disclosed his future plans: “…As a next step in my career, I’m looking for international experience. I’d like to work in Europe or in the United States as a senior exec in a media/Internet company (large or small). I bring with me solid experience in product management, business development, Internet strategy, social media and management.”  You can reach him at sprovencher@gmail.com.

He would be a great addition to your team…

People – September

It has been another active period for announcements about people
in the Yellow Pages industry.  This regular blog sponsored
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

Gregory Freiberg:

Dex One has announced that Gregory Freiberg has joined the company on Monday, September 12th in the position of executive vice president and chief financial officer.

“Greg’s solid accomplishments as a public company CFO, coupled with his extensive technology background make him an excellent addition to our new leadership team,” said Alfred Mockett, chief executive officer of Dex One. “As we transform our operations to help local business leverage digital media, his proven track record of delivering shareholder value will be invaluable.”

Freiberg will report directly to Mockett and be responsible for all aspects of Dex One’s finance operations as well as play a key role in executing the company’s business strategy.

Freiberg began his career in the United States National Guard and during his 9-year career he rose to the rank of Captain and Infantry Company Commander.
He comes to Dex One with a strong career of senior finance positions at
leading global technology companies, including Savvis, XO Holdings, Asia
Netcom, Level 3 Communications and MCI.

As chief financial officer of Savvis, a global outsourcing data center provider, he led the company through a transformation which resulted in double digit year-over-year revenue and EBITDA growth. He was also a principle architect of the company’s merger with CenturyLink, Inc., completed in July 2011.

While serving as CFO at XO Holdings, Freiberg successfully crafted a series of initiatives to strengthen the company’s balance sheet, drive growth in new revenue streams and decrease debt.

He is a graduate of The University of South Dakota where he earned a BS in business administration.

Christian Paupe & Ginette Maille:

Christian M. Paupe, Executive Vice President – Corporate Services and Chief
Financial Officer, has left Yellow Media to pursue other interests.

“We want to thank Christian for his significant contributions to Yellow Media and for his commitment and support throughout his many years of service” said Marc P. Tellier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yellow Media.

“We are pleased to announce that Ms Ginette Maille will assume the role of Chief Financial Officer on an interim basis.”  Ms. Maille has been a senior financial executive at Yellow Media since 2003, most recently as Chief Accounting Officer. Over that period, she has led various critical financial initiatives across the organization.

“Ginette is well respected for her deep understanding and knowledge of
the Company. She is a seasoned financial executive and her skills will serve us
well as we continue our transformation of the Company. I look forward to
working with her in her new role.” added Mr. Tellier.

Charles Levien:

Yellow Page industry pioneer Charles Levien died at home on August 23rd at the age of 86.

In 1949, Charles took on a small independent directory, which he grew and built by expanding coverage through startups, acquisitions and business acumen what is today Yellow Book. He was a pioneer in the yellow page industry, building the oldest and largest independent publisher in the nation. He sold the company in 1986 but remained a consultant until his death. He considered this later period the “dessert of his career,” saying that, as boss, people had to come to him, but as an advisor, they did so because they wanted to.

His employees fondly remember how each morning Levien would walk through the building saying “good morning” to each person in every department, from mailroom to executives. Anyone — worker, advertiser or user offering a suggestion that made sense to Charles — would see their idea implemented promptly. Because of the vacations, benefits and atmosphere, it was
rare for any employee to leave, and those who did would often stay in touch
with Charles over the years.

Charles was on the board of South Nassau Community Hospital in Oceanside for many years. He also served on the board of Luther E. Woodward School for Emotionally Disturbed Children in Freeport. He was born in Rockville Centre on July 4, 1925, and eventually moved to Cutchogue, NY where he had summered on his boat for many years.

Rob Luskey & Steve Dong

Irvine-based Local.com has bolstered its executive ranks this naming Rob Luskey as Vice President of Business Development, and Steven Dong as Vice President of Finance.

Laskey was most recently Local.com’s Senior Director, Business Development.  Domg joins the firm from Rovion, the firm recently acquired by Local.com.

Luskey has previously served at United Yellow Pages and Go2 Systems; Dong has
previously served at DigitalPost Interactive, Taitron Components, and Coopers
& Lybrand, LLP. Local.com operates a network of local search sites.

Tom Higley:

Local Matter has named Tom Higley its new CEO.   Higley has a deep background in starting up technology companies.

His LinkedIn profile shows that Higley was most recently CEO of Pavlov games, which “creates and distributes event-based social games.”

Say Hello to JobJolt

Over the course of the past decade Robert Hawthorne, the President of  Hawthorne Executive Search, estimates he has been asked several hundred times for help by people who wanted career coaching, a resume written, or recommendations of additional websites with valuable career information.  As a search professional hired by companies who need his help to  attract difference
makers to their teams, he did his best to help job seekers, but knew that a real
void still existed.

During his typical day at Hawthorne Executive Search where he would reach
out to 100’s of potential candidates, he has helped many people in their career
search.  Sensing a hole in the market place, he knew that he could help many more with a dedicated resource for employment-based information.  As a result, Robert has just launched Jobjolt.com, an employment portal offering videos, podcasts, interviews and original articles designed to provide job seekers and career minded individuals a competitive advantage in this tough, tight job market.  Those who visit the website will find content updated daily with a fresh, edgy perspective.

We recently sat down with Robert and asked him about Jobjolt, the overall employment market, and the state of recruiting in the local search space.

YP TALK:  Why Jobjolt?

Hawthorne:  I have enjoyed recruiting for the better part of the past fifteen years, but my real passion is helping people.  After searching the wb, I realized that while Career Builder, Monster, etc. provided a value ervice for a candidate to be seen, there really didn’t seem to be a website for andidates to turn to for an “insiders” perspective on job search and career trategy.

YP TALK:  What services are offered on Jobjolt?

Hawthorne:  We offer esume writing, we have an entire series of resume templates and critiqued esumes, and I along with my partners offer career coaching and lead evelopment.  If you are considering a ob move, you need an edge in this tight job market.  You need to understand how the recruiting
world works.  Jobjolt.com provides that edge.

YP TALK: Has the way people search for a job really changed that much?

Hawthorne:  Obviously the days when you would grab the Sunday newspaper to look through the ‘help wanted” ads have been replaced with online job listings and resume submissions.  I’ve noticed that with this tough economy, there are many people who haven’t need to look for a job in 5 or even 10 years and are now out searching.  Many don’t even have a resume together.   It is a very different market from the last time they were searching for a job.  Jobjolt.com is
intended to be a resource to help level the playing field, even if you are not
a job-hunting expert.

YP TALK: What do you see in terms of the job market moving forward?

Hawthorne:  It is a tale of two economies.  If you are a specialist, in new media, or online information, or a specialized software, life is good.  Jobs are available and companies are scrambling to find you and will woo you to join their team.  In the broader economy, however, companies are trying to avoid adding to headcount, and unfortunately, I don’t see it changing any time soon.  For the jobs that are available, you’ll probably be competing against multiple candidates.  In that situation, you need to be fully prepared to stand out from amongst the crowd.

YP TALK:  What about the local search space?

Hawthorne:  Overall, things are pretty strong compared to other industures.  We work with companies in local search, and mobile local as well as publishers and agencies.   On the “new media” side, there is a good amount of hiring, especially with anything tied into daily deal.   Almost everyone seems to be launching a daily deal offering, so we see lots of requests for sales, marketing, and executive talent.

YP TALK:   What are some of the most common mistakes
you see on resumes?

Hawthorne:  You would be surprised, but we see grammar errors all the time as well as spelling mistakes.  This is an instant game ender for many companies.  In addition, we see people who don’t really explain why they are special or a standout.  If you are a sales person, your resume had better have numbers on it.  If you are an IT person, you should have all of your programs and languages.  Many times people don’t effectively “sell” themselves.

YP TALK:  What is the best way for a company to attract
top talent?

Hawthorne:  A dedicated recruiting firm is going to get the best results, the quickest results.  If you have the time and resources, you can try to mine LinkedIn where you can reach out to countless people at your competitors for almost the same cost as any job opening.  If you don’t have the staff to do that, find a recruiter who knows your market.  Your time is worth money.  An unfilled
position is usually an even big loss in profits forgone.  Sure, you can just post jobs on a job board like Monster or CareerBuilder, or heaven forbid Craigslist, may yield some resumes, but not the A level, “impact players” for your team.

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. 

Sales & Marketing: Promoting Top Sales Reps to Sales Managers? Caution Ahead!

Perhaps you’ve heard the oldest joke in sales:

Q:  What happens when you promote your top sales rep to a manager?

A:  You lose your top sales rep and gain your worst manager.

But it sounds like such a wonderful story and is so commonplace in many companies – promoting successful reps into sales management roles. What can be more wholesome than rewarding your most successful, consistent, and reliable reps with a promotion to the corner office?  In theory, who better to take on more responsibility in the sales organization than someone who understands how to sell really well.  But caution, it’s just not that easy.

I’ve seen various research efforts that suggests that upwards of 75% of reps promoted to sales manager will not last 2 years in the role and will eventually return to a sales position. Why would there be such a high failure rate of sales managers promoted from reps?

Here are a couple of reasons why:

  • They are vastly different roles. Vastly different.  A sales rep role involves hunting for new opportunities (often with high levels of rejection), developing relationships, active listening, negotiating, and closing. Sales management involves very different activities in disciplines such as personnel development — interviewing, hiring, firing, training, cheerleading; but also tactical – tracking, forecasting, analyzing, planning; and strategic, managing  expectations, time and results, both up and down.
  • Many aspects of managing people are more complex than selling – most top reps have developed a system for dealing with the more finite number of sales situations they will be placed in. Managing a team means an evolving number of mechanisms for holding each individual accountable, and then adds the day to day change each person brings to the puzzle.
  • Managing is not for everyone – there is a fair quantity of psychological data to prove that the behavioral profiles of those who succeed in these two roles are dramatically different.  Yes, drive, competitiveness, perseverance, optimism and flexibility are all key traits for both top reps and sales managers. But management also requires a certain type of patience, flexibility, tolerance and communication skills, many of which can’t be fixed through classroom training.
  • The best sales reps are used to moving at their own pace – they are action oriented and use to driving results by ramping up their own direct efforts. Assuming leadership means overseeing a team where (at best) 50% of the reps are below targeted performances, and you need to be able to gear up or down to each. There is a huge temptation to step in, takeover opportunities, and just close business for reps, rather than helping the reps close and to be better closers.

I don’t mean to suggest you should never promote a top rep to the sales manager spot.  But if you were going to hire a successful sales manager, what skills would that you want in that person?  Has that top rep shown any of those skills? Does he want the job (and understand the possibility that he will be making less money?) Is he the one that welcomes the chance to take a new guy out to show him the ropes, help him work on his presentation, coach him on some of the techniques he has found to be most successful for him? And that’s just the personnel side of the role.

To be a great manager you have to be an expert at all phases of management, not just an exceptional sales person. A great example from the sports world would be St. Louis Cardinals baseball manager Tony La Russa. La Russa was a marginal player at best during his playing career (a paltry .199 batting average over 10 year career).  But he continuously demonstrates an ability to communicate with his players, to understand their strengths and weaknesses, to tactically study the opposition in order to put his team in the best position to be successful, and to strategically work with upper management on what he needs to win championships.  As a result he has become one of the winningest managers in major league history.

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.

Five Reasons Hiring Top Talent May Be More Difficult Than You Realize in 2011

Publisher:  We’ve all been hearing of signs that the economy is starting to turn the corner a little, and that more people are finding jobs. With the start of the New Year, we thought we’d get a sense for what the industry faces in its staffing issues going into 2011.  Who better to turn to then the leading recruiting group for the industry – Hawthorne Executive Search, and it’s President – Robert Hawthorne. Because Hawthorne Search works with such a wide variety of clients both internal to the industry and externally across the greater local search spectrum, Hawthorne gets a unique picture from both the macro level, as well as deep in the trenches during their daily conversations with clients and candidates.  Here is Robert’s view of what 2011 holds for hiring.


Five Reasons Hiring Top Talent May Be More Difficult Than You Realize in 2011

Your business has survived one of the largest economic downturns of the past seventy five years.  You did all the right things, which included reducing staff size and doubling up employee workloads instead of adding to staff when things started to pick up.

Now that you believe the clouds are parting and there may be some growth on the horizon you are ready to hire a few key individuals on your team.  You open up your internet browser and are bombarded with articles trumpeting the 9.8% unemployment rate.

Armed with this information you believe that you can get a Porsche on a Buick budget.  Candidates will be begging to come to work for you and can interview dozens until that magical candidate finally grabs the golden ring.

Unfortunately the reality is far different from this employer driven ideal.  Yes, unemployment remains mired near 10% but you need to think about who you want to hire and keep these five things in mind when looking to hire:

Reason #1 hiring is going to be challenging in 2011:  The unemployment rate for those with a four year degree or higher is under 6%. If you are looking to hire a high school graduate for a line manufacturing job the odds are pretty high you can pick and choose, but if you are looking for a white collar professional with a four year degree or higher in most industries, the true unemployment rate is quite low.  “Full employment” is considered by most economists around 5% and  the current rate is under 6% for those you are pursuing, you can do the math.

Reason #2:  Moving for a job is nearly impossible.  We live in a fairly transient society where many individuals are willing to leave their city for a good job in another market.  During the boom days of the real estate market, it was fairly easy to list your house, sell it, and start a new job in a month or two.  Today, with many individuals underwater on their mortgages and a limited number of qualified buyers available, many professionals are landlocked by their mortgage.  If you are trying to recruit a product manager from your competitor who is based in Dallas to move to your Denver office,  be prepared to either wait for months for that person to sell their house, or be prepared to pay their rent until they can sell the house back home.

Reason #3: The candidates you are pursuing are reading the same articles detailing an uptick in hiring that you read.  They have weathered the storm at their jobs and now realize it might be a good time to explore the market.  Count on these individuals having multiple suitors and not jumping at an initial offer.  Hiring tends to come in “waves” and 2011 may be a wave year.

Reason #4: Individualism now thriving.  Countless articles have been written about professionals who have used their downsizing as an opportunity to start their own business.  I personally know of a dozen or more candidates of ours who have hung out their own shingle in order to make a living.  Yes, some of these folks will jump at the chance to re-enter corporate America, but many will want to maintain their newfound freedom and flexibility.  Getting these folks to jump back into structured hours at a physical office with multiple staff meetings and bosses may not be as easy as you would imagine.

Reason #5: Same as before the employment crash, you are lacking one or more of the 3 C’s.  You aren’t cool, you don’t offer enough compensation, or you can’t help the career climb.  Today’s employee is looking for a growing company in a “hot” market that can help them keep their skills on the leading edge.  In addition they want a salary increase if they are going to leave the perceived stability of their current employer.  Finally, most individuals will want to know where this position can take them in your organization.  If you aren’t paying market rate, have advancement opportunities, or on the leading wave of your industry, you are going to have a difficult time landing an “A” player.

When you and your staff set out to hire this quarter realize that while you may have a great opportunity for someone, you will need to recruit the talent you want, not just select.

Coming Soon: Five Ways You Can Stand Out When Trying To Hire


Robert Hawthorne has been leading a national recruiting practice for the past fifteen years, working primarily with interactive and online media companies, as well as with consumer driven internet organizations.  He can be reached at Robert@hawthornesearch.com or (910) 798-1800 x101


People – October/November

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.

Linda A. Martin:

Local Insight Regatta Holdings/Berry announced that, the Company’s Chief Operating Officer, will take an unpaid personal leave of absence starting on November 1, 2010. Ms. Martin’s leave of absence is expected to last three or four months. During Ms. Martin’s absence, Marilyn B. Neal, Chairman of the Board of the Company and Executive Chairman of Local Insight Media Holdings, Inc. (“LIMH”), the Company’s indirect parent, will temporarily assume Ms. Martin’s operational responsibilities.

Peter J. McDonald:

SuperMedia has appointed s Peter J. McDonald as Interim CEO; Douglas Wheat to Serve as Executive Chairman The Company also announced that Scott W. Klein resigned as Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective immediately.

McDonald has over 35 years’ experience in the yellow pages industry, most recently as President and Chief Operating Officer of RH Donnelley Corporation (Dex One) from 2004 to 2008. He has previously held several other senior roles in the industry, including Senior Vice President and President of Donnelley Media, President and Chief Executive Officer of SBC Directory Operations (now AT&T Directory Operations), President and Chief Executive Officer of Ameritech Publishing, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dontech Publishing, and General Manager of Donnelley Information Publishing. McDonald began his career at National Telephone Directories (one of the predecessor companies that later became SuperMedia) where he was Vice President and General Manager.

McDonald has served on a number of boards, including those of RH Donnelly Corporation, CMGI Inc., and the Yellow Pages Publishers Association, where he served as Vice Chairman.

Bradley Carson:

The Yellow Pages Association (YPA) announced it has appointed Bradley Carson as vice president of operations. In this role, Carson will be responsible for maintaining and developing all of YPA’s systems, products and standards.  Kathy Roush, long time member of the YPA staff and current vice president, will be retiring at the end of the year.

“Brad brings to YPA two decades of industry experience that will help us serve the needs of our members and the industry well,” said Neg Norton, president, YPA.  “We are fortunate to have attracted such high-caliber talent to our team and we all look forward to working with him as we position our industry for success during a time of great opportunity and change.”

Carson’s credentials include more than 20 years of Yellow Pages industry experience, most recently as director and executive account manager of Amdocs from 2003 to 2010. He previously served as executive director at SBC / AT&T Communications, Inc. (2001-2003), where he was responsible for the leadership and direction of AT&T’s IT organization; and as vice president of CIO information technology at Business Trends, Inc. from 1997-1999, where he then served as president from 1999-2001. Carson began his career at Ameritech Advertising Services in 1985 and rose within the company to the role of manager of information delivery and data warehouse.

“I have a strong belief in the work that our industry does to help connect local businesses with consumers,” said Carson.  “I look forward to working with my colleagues at YPA to provide valuable services for our members while promoting industry growth.”

For more information about the Yellow Pages Association, you can go to http://www.ypassociation.org or http://www.insideyp.org.

Michael Ray:

A bright light in the Yellow Page industry has dimmed.  Michael Joe Ray, 57, of Pittsburg, KS passed away recently.  He was one of those people who had a great passion for life and an undying love and devotion to his family. Michael had a true sense of humor and a passion for life.  He never met a stranger. He also was an accomplished drummer and started at age 14 with Conny and the Bellhops, then with Smoot Mahuti and other local bands throughout his lifetime.

Michael was born in 1953, in Pittsburg, KS, and graduated from St. Mary’s-Colgan with the Great Class of 1971. He then attended Pittsburg State University and was a member of Sigma Tau Gamma.  Michael married the love of his life, Jolene Carol Clark in 1989 in Joplin, MO, and they have two great kids, Mason Michael, 18, and Sydney Jo.

Michael was employed by Names and Numbers as District Sales Manager of Southeast Missouri and Northeast Oklahoma.

He will be missed, but definitely not forgotten.