Merger maestro.Bruce Gordon Bruce Gordon may refer to:
FOR TELEPHONE CUSTOMERS FROM NEW York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of to Maine, the hit was direct and swift. In August 1997, they went to bed with NYNEX NYNEX New York-New England & X for the Unknown (Telephone Company)
NYNEX New York Network Exchange and woke up in the arms of Bell Atlantic. Almost overnight, the citified cit·i·fied
Having or pretending to have the sophisticated style or manner associated with an urban way of life.
Often disparaging Baby Bell was neatly tucked beneath its country cousin's wings in a $26 billion merger that made Bell Atlantic the nation's second largest telecommunications company, behind AT&T.
Long term, that meant melding two different worlds. Short term, it meant a massive rebranding effort to get buy-in from discriminating Northerners. Within six weeks, tons of directories, thousands of buildings, 30,000 trucks, 100,000 pay phones and 28 million telephone bills were brandishing Bell Atlantic's new logo.
New Yorkers, who once looked over to New Jersey in envy as pitchman James Earl Jones Earl Jones may refer to:
"It was a huge merger," says Gordon. "We had different products, prices, brands and views of the market, and had to take a very detailed and organized approach. That meant having a strong customer marketing team and plan in place to make the Bell Atlantic name appear and the name NYNEX disappear."
As the newly appointed Bell Atlantic group president for retail services--two steps away from the CEO--Gordon was handpicked to lead the merger integration team. Moving from Philadelphia to New York, he worked out his strategy from the 41st floor of what was once NYNEX headquarters near Times Square. His change strategy included everything from customized telephone services and targeted sales campaigns to catchy consumer advertising that uses children's book author and cartoonist Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are characters. His innovations didn't go unnoticed.
"Gordon has been contributing to the success of this business for some 30 years. He has always stepped forward with new ideas "New Ideas" is the debut single by Scottish New Wave/Indie Rock act The Dykeenies. It was first released as a Double A-side with "Will It Happen Tonight?" on July 17, 2006. The band also recorded a video for the track. and never the passion to see them through," says Bell Atlantic Chairman Ray Smith. "Thanks to his initiative during the merger, we launched what I dare say is the most successful name change and brand campaign of any company in the country. He is a true friend and a valuable leader at Bell Atlantic."
Even though the merger is complete, Gordon's plate is still full. The 52-year-old holds the reins on all retail marketing for the $30 billion company's consumer and business markets, which include some 24 million households and more than 2 million businesses.
Since 1968, when he joined Bell of Pennsylvania Verizon Pennsylvania, Inc., formerly The Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania, who traded as Bell of Pennsylvania, is the Bell Operating Company serving most of Pennsylvania. , he has scaled the corporate ladder with a dexterity only a select few have mastered. His proof-positive product management and customer service initiatives helped to keep that company buoyant after AT&T cut the cord in 1984. The success or failure of his marketing initiatives directly impacts the $18 billion in revenues of the company's consumer and business markets. He wields a half-billion dollar budget, with $186 million earmarked for advertising, and leads 1,100 of the company's 140,000 employees. He is also a champion of corporate diversity and a tireless catalyst in moving African Americans up the ranks at Bell Atlantic. With a track record too impressive to ignore, Bruce S. Gordon
BRINGING IT HOME
Gordon stands calm, smack dab in the middle of one of the most volatile industries during one of its most tumultuous times. His steadfast demeanor was honed in Camden, New Jersey The City of Camden is the county seat of Camden County, New Jersey in the United States. It is located just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As of the United States 2000 Census, the city had a total population of 79,904. , in a close-knit family of five, headed by two educators. Bell of Pennsylvania seemed as good a choice as any for the college football wide receiver and "liberal arts liberal arts, term originally used to designate the arts or studies suited to freemen. It was applied in the Middle Ages to seven branches of learning, the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, and the quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. kid" who graduated from Gettysburg College
Gettysburg College is a private national four-year liberal arts college founded in 1832, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, adjacent to the famous battlefield. in Pennsylvania in 1968.
"I picked a company that offered the most money and would allow me to get back to Philly. I planned to stay only a few years and then move on," recalls Gordon, who joined the company as a management trainee. His cavalier attitude didn't last for long. "Soon after I came into the Bell system, there were talks to convert the monopoly into a competitive business. The whole energy level picked up." Perhaps more influential was the fact that out of the 850 people in the company, only one black person was in a director position. Surely, he reasoned, there was room for him at the top. If not, then he would make room.
"I wasn't a traditional person. Being a child of the '60s, I had a natural resistance to the status quo [Latin, The existing state of things at any given date.] Status quo ante bellum means the state of things before the war. The status quo to be preserved by a preliminary injunction is the last actual, peaceable, uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. ," says Gordon. In 1970, he had already established a reputation as outspoken, even militant. A weekly column in a suburban Philadelphia paper, Today's Post, became his bully pulpit bully pulpit
An advantageous position, as for making one's views known or rallying support: "The presidency had been transformed from a bully pulpit on Pennsylvania Avenue to a stage the size of the world" for speaking out on race relations race relations
the relations between members of two or more races within a single community
race relations npl → relaciones fpl raciales
and other controversial subjects.
Watching Gordon from the sidelines was a sales general manager named Carl Nurick. "He was Jewish and felt that he had also been a victim of discrimination. He liked that I was a black guy who had a lot to say about the business, and we connected on those terms," notes Gordon. When the buzz around Bell of Pennsylvania was to fire the young business office manager, Nurick said "send him to me," and Gordon was moved from customer service into sales. Under Nurick, Gordon's unconventional wisdom and bravado were nurtured.
But he would eventually consider leaving, at least for a moment. Bitten by the academia bug in 1971, Gordon turned in his resignation one Friday to take a job as director of a Philadelphia urban school for academically challenged students. Over that weekend Gordon had second thoughts: he didn't want to bump heads with his father, who was working on a similar project as dean at a local community college. Recalls Gordon, "I called my boss on Sunday and told him I wanted to come back to work."
A MARKETING ORACLE
After regrouping, Gordon sailed through management assignments in operations, personnel, sales and marketing. All the while, he was making a name for himself with a winning marketing philosophy focused on three things what the customer wants, what the competition thinks and what will distinguish the company from the rest of the pack.
Then in 1985, on the heels of deregulation Deregulation
The reduction or elimination of government power in a particular industry, usually enacted to create more competition within the industry.
Traditional areas that have been deregulated are the telephone and airline industries. , the AT&T behemoth behemoth (bē`hĭmŏth, bĭhē`–) [Heb.,=plural of beast], large, fanciful primeval monster, like Leviathan, evoking the hippopotamus mentioned in the Book of Job. crumbled into seven regional Bells. Gordon was appointed vice president of sales at what then became the Bell Atlantic Corp. As a Regional Bell Operating Co. (RBOC (Regional Bell Operating Company) The Bell telephone companies that were spun off of AT&T by court order in 1984 (the Divestiture). Also known as the "Baby Bells," the initial seven RBOCs were Nynex, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, Southwestern Bell, US West, ), Bell Atlantic provided local telephone service for 12 million customers in Delaware, New Jersey Delaware, New Jersey could refer to:
Area, 24,181 sq mi (62,629 sq km). Pop. and the District of Columbia District of Columbia, federal district (2000 pop. 572,059, a 5.7% decrease in population since the 1990 census), 69 sq mi (179 sq km), on the east bank of the Potomac River, coextensive with the city of Washington, D.C. (the capital of the United States). . But the company had to find ways to keep its head above water.
Enter Gordon in 1988, now vice president of marketing and sales. After a year as an Alfred Sloan Fellow at MIT MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a freshly minted master's degree master's degree
An academic degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete at least one year of prescribed study beyond the bachelor's degree.
Noun 1. in management, he took hold of the 100-year-old corporation and turned it "upside down and inside out."
Gordon admits he can be impatient, compulsive, and intense. Hermann Hesse's novel Siddhartha, about an East Indian merchant in search of the answers of life, has helped him harness those emotions. "As I moved through the business, taking on more responsibility, the book taught me that having balance in my life will make me a better person," notes Gordon, who's learned to summon patience and tranquility when under fire. "However, I also learned that even positive things in excess are a problem."
This philosophy helped Gordon cut costs and revamp operations so that Bell Atlantic could weather the shake-up. In 1994, as group president of consumer and small business services, Gordon launched a mass-marketing program that put kiosks in shopping malls and sales outlets in retail stores such as Sears. Gordon shored up the customer service department by cutting out endless meetings, training sessions and goofing off. He held customer service reps to rigid schedules. As a result, the number of calls answered within 20 seconds--the time it takes before a customer hangs up--jumped from 70% to 90% in two months.
"Bruce is an extraordinary executive whose marketing instincts and skills are unsurpassed," notes Ivan Seidenberg, vice chairman, president and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. at Bell Atlantic. "We start off with a leg up on the competition because we have him leading our customer care efforts."
Most recently, a 100-day sales campaign resulted in residential customers buying 8.5 million units of discounted optional services such as Caller ID, call waiting, three-way calling and home voice mail at discounted rates. That beat the record for combined sales in any quarter, surpassing the company's goal of 7 million units.
Besides the quantifiable elements, Gordon knows there are things that affect the bottom line that don't fit neatly into any category. One of those is corporate diversity.
AN AGENT OF TRUE CHANGE
During last year's Consortium of Information and Telecommunications Executives conference in New Brunswick, New Jersey This article is about the city in New Jersey. For the Canadian province, see New Brunswick.
New Brunswick, also known as "the Healthcare City" or "Hub City", is a city and the county seat of the County of Middlesex, New Jersey, USA. , Gordon was the man. His welcoming remarks struck a chord in the hundreds of African American Bell Atlantic employees in attendance. "CEOs don't run the company; middle managers and senior executives do," Gordon said in his speech. "There are 130 African Americans in power positions across this country helping to run this company."
Of the 90 senior-level executives at Bell Atlantic, only 10 are African American. Gordon is striving for more. "We've made substantial progress and Bell Atlantic can be proud and vigilant. But there should be 230 African Americans in power positions." To that end, last September, Gordon held a summit of those 130 Bell Atlantic black managers and executives to discover ways to increase the number of African Americans in the new company. He is also a true friend and mentor to many African American employees at Bell Atlantic.
But that's not all Gordon's passionate about. He's apt to spend an evening listening to Coltrane, the Temptations or Pavarotti. He favors reading the morning paper each day while riding to work on the New York subway rather than in the back of a limo. Divorced, Gordon has made his 21-year-old son, Taurin, a senior at Hampton University in Virginia, his No. 1 priority. He finds time to sit on the boards of the Southern Co. and Bartech Personnel Services, is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, and has served as director of the Philadelphia Urban League and chairman of the United Negro College Fund The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is a Fairfax, Virginia-based American philanthropic organization that fundraises college tuition money for African-American students and general scholarship funds for 39 historically black colleges and universities. Telethon. Even in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of this whirlwind, the changing telecom landscape and Bell Atlantic's future sit heavily on his mind.
As Bell Atlantic grows, so does the competition. Already, the company faces tough opposition in its local cellular and data markets. The passage of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 has set out the rules for increasing competition and opening up local phone company lines to competitors in return for locals getting into the $80 billion long-distance market. That means that Bell Atlantic may soon compete with MCI (1) (Media Control Interface) A high-level programming interface from Microsoft and IBM for controlling multimedia devices. It provides commands and functions to open, play and close the device.
(2) (Microwave Communications Inc. and the possible mega-merged entity of AT&T and Tele-Communications Inc. for both local and long-distance customers.
"Bell Atlantic has Maine to Virginia under its belt, and that can't be taken from it," says Philip Wohl, telecommunications analyst at Standard & Poors in New York. "But in order to be competitive, they will have to bundle long-distance, Internet access, local and their crown jewel Crown jewel
A particularly profitable or otherwise particularly valuable corporate unit or asset of a firm. Often used in risk arbitrage. The most desirable entities within a diversified corporation as measured by asset value, earning power, and business prospects; in takeover , wireless service, to drive growth." Other industry watchers seem to agree. "Bell Atlantic is in a good position, but they have to defend their turf if they want to continue to hold a large percentage of the overall market," says Zia Daniell, an analyst with Jupiter Communications in New York. "That share is going to be eaten away by competitors if they don't advance their services."
With 41 million telephone access lines, 6 million wireless customers worldwide and 25% of the U.S. market, Bell Atlantic need not worry about being gobbled up. The company also has sound foreign investments and $10 billion in cash flow each year--adequate resources to expand the business and its customer base.
"We've reached an agreement with the Public Service Commission that is now supporting our entry into the long-distance market," says Gordon. "With FCC (1) (Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC, www.fcc.gov) The U.S. government agency that regulates interstate and international communications including wire, cable, radio, TV and satellite. The FCC was created under the U.S. proceedings under way, we foresee entering the New York long-distance market by year's end." Bell Atlantic will also increase its offerings of optional services and pursue more joint ventures, such as a recent deal with Black Entertainment Television to bundle its telecommunications services.
As Bell Atlantic forges ahead in the intensely competitive telecommunications arena, Gordon must continue to improve customer relations and develop new strategies to maintain market share. He must also find common ground with the company's labor unions. If past performance is any indication of the future, telecommunications Jokers or Riddlers better be at their best in order to penetrate Gordon's Gotham.