Denny Payne to Head Largest Worldwide Yellow Pages Business

An executive at AT&T has informed me that an internal communication went out saying that BellSouth Advertising & Publishing President Ike Harris is leaving the corporation. Denny Payne, who has been president of SBC Directory Operations/AT&T Yellow Pages for the past six years, will be the CEO of the combined Yellow Pages business, which will be called AT&T Advertising & Publishing.

AT&T A&P and YellowPages.com will continue to report to Group President Ray Wilkins, who oversees several diversified businesses. No other management changes were announced at this time.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. micfo

    Might be a good change, the time will tell.
    -Bob

  2. Ken L

    He is still a pathetic idiot!

  3. Charles Laughlin

    Hi Ken,
    We are all entitled to our opinions, of course.

    As you know, we removed the first two comments you posted, because we do not believe in having our blog used for personal attacks, especially ones as banal as yours. I’ll give you this, if nothing else, you are persistent.

    Ken, it’s real easy to call people names anonymously. I hope you are not feeling too proud of yourself.

  4. Pat

    Charlie,

    Thanks for removing the first two of Ken’s posts. They really were inappropriate, as is his last one.

    I wish Denny all the success in the world.

  5. Ken L

    I can’t help to tell the truth. It really doesn’t matter if it is popular or not. Denny has consistantly put his own self interest before share holders or for employees. He came into his position saying one thing and has provided something much different. His constant focus on IYP is slowly decaying the core business that made this company so strong in the first place. He has opened AT&T up to intense competition! It is all a fact.

  6. Charles Laughlin

    I still don’t think you got my point. It wasn’t a matter of you expressing an opinion that was popular or unpopular. We like unpopular opinions. Your name calling was flat out inappropriate. Plain and simple. I decided it was best to call you out on this rather than play a game of constantly taking down your name-calling posts. Please, express your views. But do it with some class.

  7. Steve

    Is anyone really surprised? Former President Elmer Smith was a brilliant "sales guy" for the YP industry. BellSouth replaced him with a "money guy" in Ike Harris which seems to have been done to prepare the company for takeover. Now that the dirty deed is finished there is no need for a "money guy" at the helm.

    Internal pressure has already caused some seasoned managers to leave and the rep turnover is probably edging over the usual +-45% annual turnover rate. The departure of so many from the field level to the executive level certainly indicates a lot of turmoil. Having AT&T take over is probably a very good thing to straighten out some of the internal problems of the BellSouth YP sales group. AT&T probably has a lot of questions about the large amounts of "bad sales" writeoffs from the Atlanta Internet products sales group. After Elmer Smith left there was a great deal of "anything goes" selling. Bogus sales contracts were written on cell phone numbers as well as numerous other unethical sales practices were used to post fake sales. It was so bad at one point that there was a "breakfast club" of reps that would discuss ways to scam the system. Management did not seem to care when the numbers were posted and the bonus payouts looked better. In true corporate fashion you have managers that want to chalk it up to "a few bad reps" but it was permeating the culture. From the normal fallout of a buyout and things like this there will definitely be more changes.

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