A Message from Our President and CEO
As we head into the final weeks of 2019, it's clear this has been a strong year for Cox Enterprises.
Looking at the numbers, Cox Communications is firing on all cylinders — operationally, financially and strategically. Cox Automotive is growing at a faster year-over-year rate than they’ve seen in years. Cox Media Group has charged through a tough year of uncertainty and found itself with a whole new future at its doorstep. We’ve forged a strategic partnership with Apollo Global Management and they have a vision to build one of the largest media companies in America — beginning with CMG.
With all of this positive momentum, what could there possibly be for a CEO to worry about?
One thing I’ve learned since assuming this role is that even in the best of circumstances, there is still plenty of things that can keep you up at night. Will the momentum last? How will our employees handle change? What new disruption will we face in telecom or the automotive industries? Is the next recession right around the corner?
But we all have a job to do, and part of mine is to see past all these concerns and provide a vision for the future. To help bring this organization together and move forward with excitement, energy and Purpose.
I recently had the opportunity to meet a fascinating young woman who works in our Inventory Solutions group at Cox Automotive. She asked, “Do you think your great-grandfather knew what he had created?” “No,” I said. I am certain he could not have fathomed what Cox would become.
James M. Cox, our company’s founder, grew up on a farm in southwest Ohio and always dreamed of going out into the world and making a difference. He became a teacher and then a three-term governor of Ohio, but when he lost the presidential election in 1920, he turned his attention to his newspaper businesses. It became his most successful endeavor. He bought his first newspaper in 1898 — not because it was the best way to make money — but because he could make a difference in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio.
It was a storied life — an amazing story of entrepreneurialism and persistence. He wrote a book about it titled “Journey Through My Years.” Near the end of his life he came to the office for a book signing event with his employees. Everyone was there — hundreds of people. He leaned toward his son Jim Cox Jr. and said, “Do all these people work for me?” He was amazed at how big the company had become from his humble offices in 1898. Little did he know it was still only the beginning.
Today the company is several hundred times larger with thousands of employees. Yet there are aspects that remain the same — our values, sensibilities, or in short, our culture.
In his last will and testament he left behind words that continue to stick with me: “The working people by their numbers, have been a tremendous factor behind these papers in many an emergency and I ask my trustees and my children always to recognize this debt.”
There is a connection between the owners and the employees at Cox. We appreciate each other. We’re family. Together we’ve gotten through every challenge we’ve faced in 121 years — war, recession, civil unrest, technological revolution and more. Tough as it’s been, and as challenging as it may be in the future, we continue to come together under a single Purpose: Empower People Today to Build a Better Future for the Next Generation.
Thank you for continuing this journey with me.
President and Chief Executive Officer