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We’ve learned that Yell Group veteran sales, marketing and product development executive Paul Plant has decided to accept a retirement package and will leave the company at year’s end. Plant tells us that he’ll take a short holiday, but almost immediately begin seeking new opportunities in the directories and local search industry.

I’ve known Paul for many years, and have always valued his knowledge, broad experience, insight and not least of all his hospitality on visits to the U.K. over the years. Talking shop over dinner with Paul has been among the great pleasures of my career. Paul combines a genuine love for the business with the ability to accept and embrace change. In fact he’s been an agent of change for many years within Yell.

Here is what Steve Chambers, Yell’s chief commercial officer, said in announcing Paul’s departure:

“On 31st December 2009, Paul Plant will be leaving the company to pursue new personal interests, after a career of almost 24 years with Yell, spanning a number of important Sales and Marketing roles.

Paul has made a substantial contribution to Yell’s achievements since joining as a Field Sales Representative in 1986. In the mid 1990’s he successfully led the London Sales Region for five years, & after joining the Marketing team in Reading was a member of the small team that brought about the acquisition of Yellowbook USA in 1999.

He played a key role in both our European Quality Award wins in 1999 & 2004, has contributed to the development & growth of our & 118247 products, whilst also championing new printed product development & innovation. Always an agent for change, Paul has more recently been a key contributor to the current programme of business transformation, as a member of the specialist team responsible for delivering our new Sales Model.

Paul’s ‘larger than life’ personality will be missed by friends and colleagues throughout the company, and I am sure you will all join me in wishing him well for the future.”

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