Cox Enterprises, the parent of Cox Communications, said current EVP and chief operating officer Alexander Taylor will become president and CEO of the privately held company on Jan. 1, succeeding current chief John Dyer, who plans to retire in December after 40 years with the company.
Cox Enterprises also said that current Cox Communications chief operating officer Jill Campbell will become EVP of Cox Enterprises on June 1. Campbell, who is scheduled to be inducted into The Cable Center’s Cable Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C. tonight, also will later fill the roles left by EVP of human resources and administration Marybeth Leamer, who earlier announced plans to retire in the summer of 2018.
Taylor currently oversees Cox Communications, Cox Automotive and Cox Media Group, as well as the company’s long-term growth and investment plans, and is the great-grandson of company founder Gov. James M. Cox.
“It’s especially meaningful for me that a fourth-generation Cox family member will lead the company my grandfather started in 1898,” Cox Enterprises chairman James Kennedy. In a statement “Alex has a deep understanding of our company and its culture. Cox has thrived in business because we believe in doing good and being a contributor to society. Alex shares this commitment to our employees and communities.”
Campbell is a well-known and well-respected cable executive, leading field operations, field services, customer care, operations process management and public affairs at one of the largest cable operators in the country. She joined Cox in 1982 as director of communications in Oklahoma City and went on to serve in several roles for Cox operations including vice president and general manager in the company’s key regions in Calif., Ariz. and Nev. In 2001, she was promoted to senior vice president of operations for Cox’s Eastern Division, and in 2011 Campbell expanded her role to oversee operations for the company’s entire field systems.
In a memo to employees, Kennedy said Cox Communications CEO Patrick Esser would name her successor at the cable company shortly.
As EVP of Cox Enterprises, Campbell will oversee the Cox Family Office and the company’s real estate, aviation and public policy departments. Upon Leamer’s retirement, Campbell will also assume leadership of the human resources, enterprise security, corporate services, corporate communications and administrative services functions.
“Jill Campbell has had a tremendous impact on Cox Communications and the cable industry for more than three decades,” Kennedy said in a statement. “She’s led operational change and truly modeled great leadership while always thinking about the best interests of our employees and customers.”
Dyer joined Cox Communications in 1977 and was named CEO of Cox Enterprises in 2014. Under his tutelage, Cox Enterprises strengthened its core business and created Cox Automotive, combining its more than 20 wholesale and retail automotive brands, including Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Manheim. Cox also acquired Dealertrack Technologies, Inc. in an all-cash transaction for $4 billion, the largest in the company’s history.
He will remain a member of the Cox Enterprises’ board of directors as vice chairman of the executive committee.
On the cable side, Dyer and his team spearheaded significant investments in Cox Communications’ broadband network, and during his tenure Cox Media Group enhanced its investigative journalism and grew its stand-alone digital properties.
“John has spent a remarkable 40 years with our company, and I can’t thank him enough for his contributions,” Kennedy said in the statement. “He has held several roles, and in each one, has strengthened our company and positioned it for
future growth. As a leader, he has the unique ability to balance immediate and long-term needs, all while making sure our employees remain a top priority.”
Marybeth Leamer joined Cox in 1982 and became EVP in 2009, and has been responsible for launching innovative and award-winning programs and initiatives focusing on employee health and wellness, retirement readiness and career development. She also led the expansion of Cox’s main Atlanta campus to more than 5,000 employees.
“Marybeth has championed our employees for 35 years,” Kennedy said in the statement. “She makes sure that they are part of every business decision we make. She has been a tremendous leader, and I want to thank her for making a lasting impact on our company’s culture. I know that she will work closely with Jill over the coming months to ensure a successful transition.”
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