Mockett: Industry Faces Discontinuous Change

ScreenHunter_01 May. 21 08.13

We had the opportunity to spend a few minutes this morning with Alfred Mockett, the new CEO of Dex One, on his first day on the job, and it’s clear that he plans to follow an aggressive change management agenda.

Mockett replaces Dave Swanson, who announced his retirement in May. Since then, Dex One has been managed on an interim basis by a board committee.

As the U.K. native joked at the start of the conversation, he hadn’t yet been able to “get his feet under his desk.” However, he had a pretty clear understanding of what he was up against when he took this assignment.

“I believe I can make a difference,” he told us. “This company is in a sector that is facing discontinuous change. The intersection of changing demographics and rapidly evolving technology means step function change, not incremental change and not evolutionary change.”

Mockett’s assessment of Dex One is that it contains a great deal of underlying value, most of it locked up in its database, and its relationships with about half a million SMBs.

“This can’t be done with print media alone,” he said, which may be stating the obvious but also signals a much more aggressive push into digital than Dex One has attempted to date.

Mockett noted that his entire career has been about change management. His previous stints at Motiv (a software company), American Management Systems (consulting) and BT (telecom) all involved managing some form of transformation.

Mockett says he has a plan for the first 100 days. After one day in his office today, he will begin a two-week journey to visit employees, investors and partners to hear their ideas and concerns.

“I do not want to pull the trigger on an irreversible decision until I have had the benefit of their input.”

The outcome at 100 days will be a vision for the company, a strategy to deliver on that vision, and the business plans that underpin the strategy.

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