As Forbes Went to Press, Ron Daly Was Leaving R.R. Donnelley for Oce
Thursday, November 21, 2002
November 21, 2002 -- (WhatTheyThink.com) -- The most recent issue of Forbes magazine contains a three page spread on R.R. Donnelley and highlights the accomplishments of Ron Daly who worked his way up to become President of the company’s printing business. As the issue was being printed, Ron Daly agreed to become the CEO of Oce-USA. The Forbes article, entitled “Pressing for Change”, discusses Daly’s role in the company even calling the 33-year Donnelley veteran “the linchpin in Chief Executive William Davis' plan to remake the 138-year-old company.” With the article in print, Forbes acknowledged Daly’s new status on their web site. “Forbes apparently wasn't the only observer to notice the respectable job Ron Daly was getting done. After this story went to the presses on October 31, Daly accepted an offer to become chief executive of the U.S. arm of Netherlands-based Oce N.V.” Daly told Forbes that he was not fired and he was not running away from anything. "I loved Donnelley and I loved the direction we were taking it. This [career move] was about a bigger goal for me personally." When asked if there were tensions with Donnelley’s CEO William Davis, Daly said, "When I looked ahead to my chance for CEO [at Donnelley], I figured it wouldn't happen until after he's 62 [likely retirement age], and by then, I'm 59." Davis told Forbes he was disappointed and quoted retired GE leader Jack Welch: “If you attract good people, you'll lose good people.” Davis said he discussed the possibility of a counter-offer with Daly, but "Ron had made up his mind." ------- The Forbes profile examines the financial challenges for R.R. Donnelley and efforts by the $4.8 billion giant to implement computer system monitoring processes and software automation. Regarding automation, Forbes cites Donnelley’s directory plant in Dwight, Illinois where “new computers alert operators feeding 14 presses when a roll of paper is about to run out--a process they eyeballed until six months ago. Under the old system, if an operator misjudged a roll, causing a sheet break, it could take 15 minutes to get going again. Operators tended to err on the side of switching rolls too soon.” The computers are watching the print output, too, for quality and quantity. By 2003, Donnelley expects to receive “print-quality and customer-satisfaction reports from across the company every day.” On the balance sheet, Forbes notes the progress Davis and his team have made to improve operating margins. During a rough 2002, Donnelley’s margin has improved to 10.1% in the first nine months, up from 9.8% the previous year on much lower revenue. Forbes quotes Goldman Sachs analyst Timothy Newington. He believes the changes put in place by Davis and Daly will save the company $160 million a year by early next year--a fact not yet reflected in the share price. To see the complete Forbes profile, visit www.forbes.com.