A Message from Our President and CEO
August 15, 2018, marked the 120th anniversary of the founding of this company. That was the day my great-grandfather purchased the Dayton Evening News. His first big decision was to make a change to the masthead — renaming it the Dayton Daily News one week later.
Fortunately for all of us, Governor Cox was a bold thinker and unafraid of change. Imagine switching the brand name of your company immediately after purchasing it. I often wonder what he would think of us today and the decisions we’re making for the future of Cox Enterprises. I know that he would say “Don’t be afraid of making the tough decisions,” or “Have conviction about where you’re going,” or “Always do what’s right.”
Cox has always embraced change and innovation. Gov. Cox showed that business can be a platform to do good things in the world as he boldly campaigned against crime and corruption with his newspapers. His son Jim Cox Jr. showed that the company can be a platform for diversification as he pushed into broadcasting, cable and automotive. Gov. Cox’s grandson, our Chairman Jim Kennedy, showed that making bold bets and putting the pedal to the metal in telecommunications could scale the company to heights unimagined by his predecessors.
This year, as I’ve stepped into the leadership role, I’ve wondered what we will be known for in the future, and what my great-grandfather would think about it all. With that in mind we’ve spent a lot of time this year talking about our Purpose and our strategy. Put simply, our Purpose is to empower our people to leave things in better shape for the next generation. Our strategy is to (a) reinvest in the business — as demonstrated by the transformational capital dollars we’re spending on our telecom network; (b) continue pioneering new businesses — like automotive mobility and Cleantech; and (c) de-risk our position in businesses we have, such as broadcast television, where the future is becoming more dependent on national scale than on local ratings and revenue shares, where we’ve always been so good.
Like all strategies, these decisions have their risks, but I know that my great-grandfather would be proud of us. We have one of the best cultures of any company in the world. We have some of the best people gathered together making decisions as a team. And most importantly, we have a legacy of successfully navigating many decades of change and evolution. Along the way, we’ve done an enormous amount of good for the communities where we live and work, and remained focused on empowering our people and celebrating their successes.
I have no doubt that my great-grandfather would be proud of us. I’m proud of this company — we’ve come so far and we’re well positioned to do great things for our people and the world around us. Happy Birthday, Cox Enterprises!
President and Chief Executive Officer