DexOne CEO Dave Swanson will retire at the end of this month, ending a career of more than 25 years at the company (formerly known as R.H. Donnelley), including eight years at the helm as CEO.
Here is a copy of the news release. Board member W. Kirk Liddell has been named “interim principal executive officer” until a replacement is found.
Swanson’s announcement follows soon after news that Yell Group CEO John Condron also plans to retire. Condron plans to stay on a year, while Swanson’s retirement takes effect almost immediately.
More broadly, there has been an ongoing shift in leadership in the global Yellow Pages industry away from executives with lifelong directory industry experience in favor of those with backgrounds in media, technology, consumer products and other industries. Examples of current leaders who are not directory lifers include Scott Klein, SuperMedia (consumer products); Jesper Karrbrink, Eniro (media, gaming); Jean-Pierre Remy, PagesJaunes (online travel, consulting); and Alberto Cappellini, Seat (consumer products.)
DexOne has initiated a search process to replace Swanson. It will be interesting to see which direction DexOne goes — elevating an insider, or looking outside to bring a new perspective to the business.