Cox Enterprises Chairman Jim Kennedy today named Alexander C. Taylor, executive vice president and chief operating officer, as the company’s next president and chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, 2018.
Taylor will succeed John Dyer, president and chief executive officer, who will retire in Dec. after 40 years with the company. Dyer and Taylor will both continue serving on the Cox Enterprises’ board of directors.
Marybeth Leamer, executive vice president of human resources and administration, announced plans to retire in the summer of 2018. She will be succeeded by Jill Campbell, executive vice president and chief operations officer for Cox Communications, the company’s cable and broadband division. As part of the transition, Campbell will become Cox Enterprises’ executive vice president on June 1, 2017, and succeed Leamer in 2018.
Taylor 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,” said Kennedy. “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.”
Taylor previously served as Cox Enterprises’ executive vice president of strategic investments, where he had oversight of diversification funds in a wide-range of businesses, including energy, technology and health care. Under his leadership, Cox has taken an active role in bolstering Atlanta’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Taylor was the driving force behind the globally-acclaimed Techstars accelerator program entering the Atlanta market. He also oversees Cox’s investments in the Cox Innovation Fund and True North Venture Partners.
Taylor has held numerous positions within the company’s divisions. He was senior vice president of field operations for Cox Communications and executive vice president of Cox Media Group, where he oversaw its largest television, radio, newspaper and digital properties. He also led the creation of the company’s first cross-platform newsroom. Taylor began his career at Cox as a reporter for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel in Colorado in May 2000.
He chairs American Rivers board of directors and is a board member of the Food Well Alliance and PATH Foundation. He received a bachelor’s degree in science with a focus on human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University, where he now serves on the board of trust. An avid outdoorsman and conservationist, he is the author of “The Longest Cast: The Fly-Fishing Journey of a Lifetime.” He donated royalties from the book to the International Game Fishing Association for the preservation of endangered fishing sanctuaries.
Effective June 1, Campbell will become Cox Enterprises’ executive vice president and oversee the Cox Family Office and the company’s real estate, aviation and public policy departments. Upon Leamer’s retirement in the summer of 2018, Campbell will also assume leadership of the human resources, enterprise security, corporate services, corporate communications and administrative services functions.
Campbell currently oversees Cox Communications’ day-to-day operations to enhance market leadership and grow the company’s 6 million residential and commercial customers. She leads field operations, field services, customer care, operations process management and public affairs. Campbell 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.
“Jill Campbell has had a tremendous impact on Cox Communications and the cable industry for more than three decades,” said Kennedy. “She’s led operational change and truly modeled great leadership while always thinking about the best interests of our employees and customers.”
A graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Campbell also earned a master’s degree in business administration from Oklahoma City University. She’s received numerous awards including Multichannel News’ Wonder Women of 2002; WICT’s National Woman of the Year and is a 2017 Cable Hall of Fame inductee. She serves as the chairperson of Girl Talk’s board of directors, vice chair of the CTAM Education Foundation’s board of directors and is a member of the Woodruff Art Center board of trustees.
Dyer assumed the role of chief executive officer in 2014 and under his leadership, Cox Enterprises strengthened its core businesses. Cox Automotive was created by bringing together the company’s 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. Dyer and his leadership team made significant investments in Cox Communications’ broadband network, which now provides gigabit fiber services to both business and residential customers across the country. 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,” said Kennedy. “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.”
Dyer joined the company in 1977, spending most of his career in financial and operational roles to help build Cox Communications into the nation’s third-largest cable provider. His many responsibilities included financial planning, managing the company’s commercial services and cable advertising divisions, and integrating $10 billion in cable operations into the company’s Western and Central regions.
Dyer chairs the Marcus Autism Center board of trustees and the Atlanta Committee for Progress board of directors. He is a member of the Georgia State University Foundation board of trustees, the Carter Center board of councilors and a member of the board of trustees at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. He will remain a member of the Cox Enterprises’ board of directors as vice chairman of the executive committee.
Leamer is responsible for executive compensation, employee benefits, human resources technology systems, leadership development, training, employee relations and diversity, corporate communications and public affairs, corporate services and travel, corporate security, corporate aviation and real estate.
“Marybeth has championed our employees for 35 years,” said Kennedy. “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.”
Leamer joined the company in 1982 and assumed the role of executive vice president of human resources and administration in 2009. Under her leadership, she helped redefine and transform the human resources organizations throughout the company. She launched new, innovative and award-winning programs and initiatives focusing on employee health and wellness, retirement readiness and career development. She also led the expansion of the company’s main Atlanta campus to more than 5,000 employees. She serves as board chair of Families First.