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Public Printer Robert C. Tapella Resigns

The GPO has just announced that the current U.

By Cary Sherburne
Published: December 29, 2010

The GPO has just announced that the current U.S. Public Printer, Robert C. Tapella, resigned today.  Our inside sources tell us that this was a direct request from the White House. This paves the way for the White House to appoint someone to the post in a recess appointment, which could not be done with the incumbent in place.  Our assumption is the appointment will go to the pending nominee, James Boarman, who could not garner approval from a Senate dominated by the President’s own party. Another sign the political process in this country is broken.

Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at cary@whattheythink.com.



By Cary Sherburne on Dec 30, 2010

No moss,rolling stones, blah,blah. The press release about Tapella's "resignation" was barely out the door when the President confirmed Boarman as the new public printer while Congress was in recess. It is a sad end to a very productive and innovative GPO chapter. One only hopes this forward movement continues under Boarman's tenure. We will look to interview him sometime early in the year...


By Pat Berger on Dec 30, 2010

Are the politics every going to be curtailed or stopped. Common sense always is thrown out the door for politics. President Obama is trying to fulfill favors promised. As usual he waits to congress is out. I am sure that Mr. Tapella resigned under his own free will wink wink.


By jerry reiss on Dec 31, 2010

What are Boarman's qualifications for the job? Being a political pay-back doesn't suffice for qualifications.


By Chuck on Jan 01, 2011

Well, Happy New Year.

At least for a moment let's celebrate Bob Tapella's tenure. He did a great job, and hopefully he will do something in the private sector that helps the printing industry.

As for the disgraceful act of appointing the unqualified and potentially corrupt Boarman during the recess: STINKS.

There will be another election in 2012, and we'll likely be rid of a good many people like Boarman in cushy government jobs.


By Raymond J. Prince on Jan 02, 2011

Bob has done a wonderful job for the GPO and our industry. My prediction is that he will land on his feet at a large printer and do a great job for them. It was a pleasure to see Bob at the shows and sharing how printers can do businees with the GPO. We need more people like him in government and less _______.


By Pat Berger on Jan 03, 2011

After eight years at the United States Government Printing Office, the final three as Public Printer of the United States and Chief Executive Officer, I resigned my commission at the request of the White House last Tuesday to allow the President to make a recess appointment.

Anyone in the printing and communication business knows the past decade has been tumultuous. Thousands of printing businesses failed or suffered contraction across America, and at the beginning of the decade, GPO faced a similar future. I’m pleased to say that instead of conceding to decline, the talented and dedicated employees GPO reversed years of shrinkage and financial losses to become a premiere manufacturing organization, receiving ISO 9001 certification for our factories in Stennis, MS and Washington, DC, and demonstrating real innovation for our industry.

We created new markets to expand our 2002 business revenues from $675 million (with a $24 million net operating loss) to revenues of over $1 billion and over $90 million in retained earnings – delivering seven consecutive years of positive results. We funded environmental sustainability programs, we invested in a new plant and new equipment, and most importantly, we invested in training and re-training GPO employees to embrace the technological opportunities of the 21st century. These investments, particularly our investment in human capital, restored GPO to its role of innovator in American printing and publishing.

We developed the joint venture GPOExpressSM with FedEx OfficeSM for digital printing services at 1,800 nationwide locations and reduced prices to customers by up to 80% over retail rates.

In partnership with the Department of State, we designed, developed and produced an electronic passport to ensure interoperability between visa waiver nations. We then leveraged existing technology and capabilities to create secure Federal credentials in our Trusted Traveler program – to expedite travel processing at our borders, without sacrificing security.

We entered a partnership with Google to offer the public, for the first time, Federal government titles in an e-book format. And in collaboration with libraries across America, we developed and launched GPO’s Federal Digital System to allow enhanced searchable digital access and authentication of Federal publications.

To the dedicated and talented employees of GPO, who made all this happen, I want to thank you for eight incredible years. You are the heart and soul of the GPO and the reason for all these great accomplishments. To our partners and customers, thank you for working with us to help transform printing and publishing at all levels of the Federal government. And to my successor, Bill Boarman, I wish you and your team every success.

All the best,

Bob Tapella
25th Public Printer of the United States


By Pat Berger on Jan 03, 2011

The previous post was an email sent out by the GPO.


By Hal on Jan 03, 2011

We all have the right and ability to contact the White House directly at www.whitehouse.gov and communicate directly to the administration our feelings about the recess appointment. The announcement indicates it is an intention to do this, but it doesn't seem to be finalized when you look on the GPO website today. The great thing is we have the right to voice our opinions, take your voices directly to the source and let them know what you think.


By cary sherburne on Jan 05, 2011

Yeah, well, he was sworn in today. Sad how many ways there are to circumvent checks and balances.


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