David Swanson, Dex One's CEO, to Retire

Just received this release from Dex One announcing the retirement of David Swanson, their CEO.

Dex One Corporation (NYSE: DEXO), a leading provider of marketing solutions for local businesses, today announced that David C. Swanson, the company’s chairman and CEO, will retire effective May 28, 2010. The company’s Board of Directors will be initiating a search for a new chief executive officer to succeed Swanson.

via Dex One Corporation.

What it means: This is definitely an important moment for Dex One in terms of defining their future. I met Dave Swanson last year and had been impressed with his thoughts and vision. The last few years have been a real roller-coaster for the organization with RHD buying Dex Media in 2005 (has it been 5 years already?), their acquisition of Business.com in 2007, a superb ride on the stock market and the fall to chapter 11 protection last year. Their exit from bankruptcy protection in February 2010 can be seen as the beginning of a new chapter (no pun intended) and Swanson’s swan song (pun intended). I suspect the company is now ready to embrace the future and the necessary changes required for success. The type of candidates they approach and the person they eventually select will largely influence the future of the company, probably the same way that Jean-Pierre Rémy seems to be imprinting a new vision/direction for PagesJaunes in France. All industry eyes will be watching that next move.


2 thoughts on “David Swanson, Dex One's CEO, to Retire

  1. No doubt that the person that is selected to run DexOne will influence the future direction of the company.

    Do not underestimate the difficulty of finding the right leader for DexOne (or any of the other major yellow pages publisher today) where ALL the future prospect is online and most ALL the current revenue (and profit) is offline, tied up in a business that is in rapid decline.

    The folks at Dex know more than most that simply throwing a bunch of money at the problem (case and point the $350M purchase of Business.com by RHD) is NOT the solution.

  2. Here’s an insider perspective: Employees at the company are miserable. People who have worked for the company for 30 years randomly get laid off without warning. They asked a laid-off manager at one of the offices if she would stay on for a few weeks for a smoother transition – yet the CEO resigns out of the blue with no replacement or plan of action in place.

    Plus he got a 12 million dollar bonus – which is quite hard to stomach considering the company just emerged from bankruptcy and a lot of its employees can barely afford to stay afloat.

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