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50 Best Workplaces of the year 2016

Cox Enterprises: A Leader in Communications, Automotive and Media


“Embracing change is a part of their DNA”

Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company. With revenues of $18 billion and approximately 60,000 employees, the company’s major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications (cable television distribution, high-speed Internet access, telephone, home security and automation, commercial telecommunications and advertising solutions); Cox Automotive (automotive-related auctions, financial services, media and software solutions); and Cox Media Group (television and radio stations, digital media, newspapers and advertising sales rep firms).

The company’s major national brands include Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Manheim. Through Cox Automotive, the company’s international operations stretch across Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America.

Cox history in the making

The story of Cox Enterprises is one of hard work, respect for employees, entrepreneurship and making bold decisions. It’s also about staying true to values that have endured for more than a century. Cox Enterprises was founded in 1898 by James M. Cox. At the age of 28, he purchased the Dayton Evening News (now the Dayton Daily News). He later served as Ohio’s governor and was the 1920 Democratic nominee for president. Franklin D. Roosevelt was his running mate for vice president. While they lost the 1920 election, Roosevelt later become President and Cox focused on his business by expanding across different industries and geographies.

Over the next several decades, the company expanded from newspapers to radio and television and then later, into the cable and automotive industries. By the 1990s, Cox began competing against its own media businesses. The company’s leaders accurately predicted the coming decline in newspaper classified advertising sales and quickly became a leader in digital classifieds. An early Internet-based startup, Autotrader began with a $15 million investment in 1996 and is now a billion dollar company. Today, Cox Enterprises is a global company with more than 60,000 employees and $18 billion in annual revenues.

Cox in business

The Cox Automotive division is transforming the way the world buys and sells cars, influencing 3 out of 4 vehicle transactions in the U.S. Their 20-plus automotive companies, including Kelley Blue Book, together have more data about cars than any comparable company and give dealers access to invaluable consumer insights and financial lending.

Cox Communications is the nation’s third largest cable company with products including home security services and gigabit Internet service, with speeds 100 times faster than average.

The Cox Media Group division operates in more than 20 markets and reaches approximately 52 million Americans weekly. Cox has always been at the forefront of technology – from the digital television transition to using drones for newsgathering.

Employees are a priceless asset, value them

The company’s employees and communities are a top priority. Cox is well known for being a good corporate citizen and for taking care of its employees. As an employer of choice, Cox’s retirement and savings benefits include a traditional pension plan, 401(k) and retiree medical – something offered by only six percent of Fortune 500 companies. It also offers a program called the Cox Employee Relief Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to assisting Cox employees and their families impacted by natural disasters, injury or illness, or loss of a family member. Employees are part of the Cox family, and this program helps them during times of need. The company also has programs that help employees understand and improve their physical, mental and financial wellness. Cox offers scholarships for employees’ children and a national employee solar program that provides incentives for employees who choose to install solar panel systems on their homes.

Key differentiators

As a private, family-owned company, Cox has the opportunity to back values-driven companies and cutting-edge technologies. This is a competitive advantage that positions the company for generational growth versus quarterly earnings. Cox has fourth generation family leadership – a rarity in today’s business world.

Obstacles never hinder Cox from being a pioneer

Technology has always disrupted industries. Radio disrupted newspapers. Television disrupted radio. Cable disrupted television. Some of Cox’s businesses are mature, especially cable and media. This is a challenge and the company’s meeting it head on by exploring adjacent growth. Known as a cable company, Cox Communications is now using infrastructure to provide broadband and home security. The company is aggressively competing by expanding its gigabit internet service. Cox Media Group is developing new digital products to share targeted content. At Cox, embracing change is a part of their DNA.

The road ahead

The company serves major industries such as broadband and cable, automotive and media. Cox recently expanded its global footprint by acquiring a majority shareholding in Molicar, a Brazilian vehicle valuations business, and has partnered with BitAuto, a leading automotive company in China. Cox is exploring the tremendous opportunity to grow its core businesses through technology and innovation, while also connecting with entrepreneurs through its partnership with Techstars.

Know the Key Executive

John M. Dyer, President and CEO – Leading a top communications, media and automotive services company, the 39-year Cox veteran Dyer is responsible for the company and its three major subsidiaries (Cox Communications, Cox Automotive and Cox Media Group), as well as the Cox Family Office and corporate functions, including financial operations, human resources and administration. Dyer also serves on Cox Enterprises’ board of directors and its executive and strategy committees. Under Dyer’s leadership, Cox Enterprises formed Cox Automotive to bring together the company’s more than 20 leading wholesale and retail automotive brands, including Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. Cox Automotive acquired Dealertrack Technologies, Inc. in an all-cash transaction for $4 billion, the largest in the company’s history. Dyer and his leadership team have continued the company’s long-standing and significant investment in the Cox Communications broadband network, which now provides gigabit fiber services to both business and residential customers across the country. Dyer holds a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from the State University of West Georgia and a master’s degree in business administration from Georgia State University.

“At Cox, it’s not just about making money. It’s about doing good and being a contributor to society.”