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Founder’s great-grandson named Cox Enterprises CEO

The next president and CEO of Cox Enterprises is Alex Taylor, the company’s chief operating officer and the great-grandson of founder James Cox.

Taylor, 42, will take charge of the Atlanta-based media, cable and auto services company on Jan. 1, 2018, said Cox Enterprises Chairman Jim Kennedy in an announcement Wednesday. Taylor will replace John Dyer, who is retiring after 40 years with the company.

Taylor said he wants to continue strengthening the family-owned business for future generations.

“A lot of companies think quarter to quarter,” Taylor said. “We want to make sure that we optimize our operations, but never at the expense of the long-term health of the company.”

Cox Enterprises employs 60,000 people and recorded $20 billion in revenue last year, predominantly from its cable TV and high-speed internet business. Cox’s media holdings include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Channel 2 Action News, News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB.

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“We have to act like one company rather than lots of them,” Taylor said. “I’m proud of the ability to bring those many markets together to operate as one company.”

Taylor, who started his career at Cox as a reporter for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel in Colorado, oversees the company’s three business units: Cox Communications, Cox Automotive and Cox Media Group.

“It’s especially meaningful for me that a fourth-generation Cox family member will be leading the company my grandfather started in 1898,” Kennedy said in a statement. “Alex has a deep understanding of our company and its culture. Cox has thrived in business because we believe in doing good and being a contributor to society.”

Cox Enterprises was founded in Dayton, Ohio, by James M. Cox, who later became Ohio’s governor. The business expanded over the last 119 years to include cable systems, TV stations, radio stations, newspapers and websites.

Dyer, who has been Cox’s CEO since 2014, helped form Cox Automotive to bring together the company’s many brands, which include Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Manheim. Dyer led several major mergers and acquisitions during his career, including more than $10 billion in cable systems.

Taylor, an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, is the chairman of the board of the nonprofit organization American Rivers, and he wrote a book, “The Longest Cast: The Fly-Fishing Journey of a Lifetime.”

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