Alex Taylor, great-grandson of James M. Cox — the former Ohio governor and founder of Cox Enterprises — has been promoted to president and chief executive officer at the company.
Cox Enterprises Chairman Jim Kennedy made the announcement today about Taylor, who will succeed John Dyer, president and chief executive officer, who will retire in December after 40 years with the company.
“It’s especially meaningful for me that a fourth-generation Cox family member will lead the company my grandfather started in 1898,” Kennedy said. “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. Alex shares this commitment to our employees and communities.”
Taylor will oversee Cox Communications, Cox Automotive and Cox Media Group, as well as the company’s longterm growth and investment plans. Cox’s local media holdings include the Dayton Daily News, JournalNews, Springfield News-Sun, WHIO-TV and WHIO-Radio.
Taylor served as the Cox Media Group Ohio Market President from 2009-2011.
“The culture and heritage of our company were born in Dayton and a lot of our values come from Ohio sensibilities that I still get from my grandmother who grew up there,” Taylor said.
While in Dayton, Taylor was instrumental in the downtown Dayton river redevelopment of Riverscape’s RiverRun, and the company’s James M. Cox Foundation fund gave $1 million toward the effort.
Taylor previously served as Cox Enterprises’ executive vice president of strategic investments, where he had oversight of diversification funds in a wide-range of businesses, including energy, technology and health care.
Under his leadership, Cox has taken an active role in bolstering Atlanta’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Taylor was the driving force behind the globally-acclaimed Techstars accelerator program entering the Atlanta market. He also oversees Cox’s investments in the Cox Innovation Fund and True North Venture Partners.
Taylor has held numerous positions within the company’s divisions. He was senior vice president of field operations for Cox Communications and executive vice president of Cox Media Group, where he oversaw its largest television, radio, newspaper and digital properties. He also led the creation of the company’s first crossplatform newsroom in Dayton. Taylor began his career at Cox as a reporter for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel in Colorado in May 2000.
He chairs American Rivers board of directors and is a board member of the Food Well Alliance and PATH Foundation. He received a bachelor’s degree in science with a focus on human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University, where he now serves on the board of trust.
An avid outdoorsman and conservationist, he is the author of “The Longest Cast: The Fly-Fishing Journey of a Lifetime.” He donated royalties from the book to the International Game Fishing Association for the preservation of endangered fishing sanctuaries.
Dyer and Taylor will both continue serving on the Cox Enterprises’ board of directors.