Tag Archives: Hawthorne Search

People – March

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.

Cindi Aldrich

The Association of Directory Publishers (ADP) Board has announced that Cindi Aldrich, has been named President-elect of the 115 year-old trade association, effective immediately.

Aldrich will succeed Larry Angove, who has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association since 1997. Angove will officially retire on June 30 of this year.

Angove will continue in his current position through the conclusion of the 2013 – ADP Annual Convention and Partners Trade Show in St. Augustine, Florida on May 2.  The following day, Aldrich will assume full executive responsibility for the operations of the Association. Angove will continue to assist the leadership transition as President Emeritus until he retires.

President-elect Aldrich may be contacted at cindi.aldrich@adp.org or 248.705 4770.

Jim McCusker & Mark Cairns:

Hibu has announced that Jim McCusker,US president, and Mark Cairns, chief publishing officer, had been “dismissed” after “a thorough investigation into conduct by them that the company considered to be disloyal and against the interests of its employees and other stakeholders”.

Hibu has declined all public comment on reports that McCusker and Cairns were trying to buy out the US business from the struggling publisher.

Tyler Best:

YP.com has recently named Tyler Best as its first Chief Information Officer.

Best was  recently was chief technology officer at Ally Financial. Prior, he was CIO at Vanguard Car Rental.

“Tyler’s leadership is important to ensure we have the infrastructure to support YP’s rapidly growing digital and mobile advertising business that relies on technology as a key enabler of the company,” said YP CEO David Krantz, said in a company issued statement. “As we accelerate our effort in helping local businesses and communities grow, it is critical that we, as a new company, build a solid technology foundation to support our team and everything they do.”

David Hawthorne:

It is with great sadness that SuperMedia reported the passing of David E. Hawthorne, a member of the company’s Board of Directors since 2009, on Friday, January 18, at the age of 62.

Board Chairman Doug Wheat commented that “David was a colleague and friend to many of us.  He was a valued member of the Board of Directors, and we will miss his spirit and insights.”

Hawthorne had served on several committees of the SuperMedia board, including the Compensation Committee and Audit Committee. He had led Hawthorne Management LLC since 2005, a firm that develops, owns, and operates commercial real estate in central Florida. He previously served as a consultant to Friedman’s Inc., assisting the jewelry retailer in investigating operating and financial issues. From 2001 to 2003, Hawthorne was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Lodgian, Inc., an independent hotel owner and operator.

Hawthorne was a consultant for FTI Consulting, Inc. from 2000 to 2001, during which time he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Restructuring Officer of Tower Records, Inc. Hawthorne also served as the acting Chief Executive Officer of Premier Cruise Lines, the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Alliance Entertainment Corporation, and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Servico Hotels and Resorts, Inc.


Mike Fordyce

Mike Fordyce joined JiWire, San Francisco, as chief executive, assuming duties from David Staas, who had served as interim president and chief executive since March; Mr. Staas, who had been senior vice president for marketing, has now been promoted to president. Mr. Fordyce had most recently been senior vice president for business development, publisher products and strategic partnership management at YP.com.

Craig Swanson

We are also sorry to report that Craig Swanson passed away unexpectedly on November 7th at the age of 47.  Craig was senior vice president at KDA Group.  Prior to KDA, he held senior-level positions at Wahlstrom.

Hawthorne Search Provides Current Hiring Outlook

We have always been big believers of following hiring trends as a really accurate indicator of the economy, and in particular, the tone among small business owners and those that provide advertising services to them.

When we received this recent summary  from Robert Hawthorne, the President and Founder of Hawthorne Search on hiring trends in the local search industry for Q1 2013, we thought it would provide you with some very good insights on what’s happening in the trenches.  Robert and his team of recruiters has been working with a wide range of clients in the local search segment for over a dozen years.  His client base ranges from Yellow Page publishers, to advertising agencies, to pure online players.  Just as the old TV commercial goes — when Robert speaks, we listen.  Here is Robert’s report:


2013 has  seen a noteworthy uptick in hiring activity versus q1 2012.  We certainly are not in what anyone would describe as “boom times” but there is a significant increase in companies hiring versus q4 2012 or q1 2012.

A noteworthy trend is the amount of time that companies take to fill the openings that they do have.  There seems to be a catch 22 in terms of needing to hire, but not wanting to add to the cost structure.  Many companies have adapted the position that they are willing to add cost only if a “purple unicorn” i.e. nearly impossible to find candidate comes along.  What this says to us is that companies have definitive needs, but there is reluctance to hire due to general economic uncertainty.

Less Field Leadership:   Another trend is a consolidation of sales leadership positions in both traditional and digital media.  Gone are the days when companies new to the market are building out large field sales team and the managers to lead them.  Most companies are either selling through channels and trying to piggy back existing sales teams of their partners, or building specialized inside call centers.  There are a few exceptions, like Cardlytics in Atlanta, but overall we are seeing fewer regional sales manager, area sales manager type searches than at any time in the past five years.

More Agency Sales:  Where companies are hiring is in the national/regional market with a focus on individuals who can sell through agencies and also to franchise groups.  If you are a sales person with legitimate agency relationships in New York, San Francisco or Chicago, your phone is no doubt ringing.  We worked with a candidate in NYC who had strong agency ties and he had FIVE offers to sort through.

Mobile has not exploded as one might have expected.  There is still a decent push in mobile, mobile/local, but not at the clip that many had predicted a few years ago.  Where we do see activity is in verticalized companies, i.e. health and wellness, travel, auto, etc.  There seems to be an increasing number of local search companies that continue to try and own a vertical market as opposed to a geography.  For candidates it appears to be better to be a specialist as opposed to being a generalist.

Consolidation in traditional media continues.  With the Supermedia/Dex merger, and the senior management shake up at Hibu, we continue to see a large influx of resumes, but very few job openings to send these talented professionals out on.  Similarly, our newspaper clients continue to shed headcount, and where they do add, it is strictly on the digital/mobile side.

Deal Mania fades:  Just 18 months ago our phones rang off the hook for deals companies looking to add headcount as quickly as possible.  With the implosion at Groupon, and Living Social’s continued inability to become profitable, the flow of jobs has turned into a trickle.  Smaller companies have folded and those that haven’t certainly are not looking to add to headcount.

Loyalty takes the lead:  Loyalty, or what some might call “deals 2.0” has taken the wheel.  Companies like Cardlytics, Catera, Edo and many others are partnering with banks and developing loyalty offering that have shaken up the local space.  These companies are being selective in terms of adding head count, but most are extremely robust about their future and boast major private equity firms backing them up.


All in all we give the local search jobs market a solid “B” in terms of amount of activity, quality of jobs available, etc.

If you are looking to hire, Hawthorne Search has an unsurpassed list of contacts in the industry and a 80% success rate on all search projects we engage upon.  Whether you are looking to hire a sales rep in Chicago, or a VP of Digital Strategy in NYC, we can help.


Robert Hawthorne

President – Hawthorne Search

(910) 777-5383 // C (910) 297-8729


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