R.H. Donnelley announced today that President and COO Peter McDonald, a 35-year industry veteran, will retire in September. The company also announced that George Bednarz, its current senior vice president for enterprise operations, will take on the new role of executive vice president of enterprise sales and operations. Essentially, as McDonald retires, Bednarz will assume the sales leadership role that McDonald has held.
McDonald is an industry giant whose long experience in running successful directory organizations in all kinds of economies and against all sorts of competitors will be greatly missed. We won’t be surprised to see McDonald back working in the industry before too much time has passed.
Nonetheless, TKG see the elevation of Bednarz as a strong move for RHD. Why? The nature of directional media sales is changing, and the way sales reps are recruited, trained, managed and supported is changing as well. To put it simply, sales is becoming more data driven and it will be only more so as each year goes by and advertisers demand more transparency. Having a background in strategy and information technology, as Bednarz does, is arguably now at least as important as sales experience.