Following the departure of marketing vice president
Virginia Gray last month, Cox Communications Inc. is seeking a replacement, and it expects
to name Gray's successor within the next 30 to 60 days, spokeswoman Amy Cohn said.
Cox executive director of marketing David Pugliese has been
named interim vice president of marketing for the company.
Marketing veteran Gray, who had previously worked at
Cablevision Systems Corp.'s Connecticut system and Southern New England Telecommunications
Corp., started with Cox in March 1998.
She was hired by CEO James Robbins to spearhead the MSO's
efforts to rebrand itself as a full-service telecommunications company, to put a closer
focus on database-marketing techniques and to use e-commerce to help gain and retain
"She has fulfilled her objectives," Cohn said.
Cox launched its glossy "Now You're Living"
rebranding campaign and new logo earlier this year.
In the past few months, the MSO's corporate marketing focus
has moved away from strategic efforts and toward tactical ones that demand closer contact
with field operators, Gray said.
Industry observers noted that the decentralized Cox puts a
greater degree of control in the hands of field operators than some other MSOs do, and
that a successful candidate for the position would need to devote much time and attention
to the needs of Cox's local cable systems.
In January, Cox reorganized its management structure, after
which Gray began reporting to senior vice president of operations Margaret Bellville
instead of directly to Robbins.
After several months of working with Bellville, "We
reached a joint agreement that what they needed was someone who was highly tactical"
in working with the field, Gray said last week.
Before her promotion in January, Bellville had extensive
field experience, most recently overseeing operations at systems in California, Louisiana
Cohn said Cox would seek new marketing vice president
candidates both internally -- at Cox corporate headquarters in Atlanta, as well as in its
field offices throughout the country -- and externally, both inside and outside of the
cable and telecommunications industries.
Gray has been discussing employment opportunities with
recruiters and companies in the cable-television and Internet industries. "My
expertise is in revitalizing businesses with rebranding, database marketing and launching
new services," she said.
She is also considering going to work as a branding
consultant, possibly for a company of her own.