DMA Taps Bob Allen as Interim CEO

Maybe the Direct Marketing Association Really does Aim to cater more to its catalog members. The DMA on Feb. 4 appointed Bob Allen, former president/CEO of the Vermont Country Store, as its interim president/CEO.

Allen, a former DMA board member and past president of trade group NEMOA, will sit in the chair formerly occupied by John A. Greco Jr., who resigned on Jan. 19. The search for a permanent replacement is expected to take three to five months.

DMA chairman Eugene R. Raitt says that catalogs will still be an integral part of the association’s strategy going forward, and that DMA will continue to actively reach out to catalog and multichannel marketers for input, guidance and insight on how it can better serve their unique needs.

Allen, who is a director for six for-profit companies in New England, five of which are multichannel merchants, will no doubt be helpful on this front.

“Bob is here to lead DMA, ensuring that the positive momentum is maintained and membership is listened to, responded to and attended to,” says Sue Geramian, DMA’s chief communications officer. “Across the entire organization, there is a lot of work already in progress, as well as new projects that are in development.”

In addition to putting a search committee of senior marketing professionals in place and hiring an executive search firm, Raitt says he is hoping for input from the direct marketing community. “We anticipate opening up communication streams, enabling us to maintain two-way dialogue with the direct marketing community for their input and to keep them apprised of our progress,” he says.

Greco’s reported $800,000-plus annual compensation had been a bone of contention among members. Will DMA address those concerns when putting a package together for the new president/CEO?

The committee has always used benchmarks based on comparably sized and scoped organizations, Raitt says. For the past few years, where there was strong growth, compensation increased.

But 2010 is a different world, he notes, and all involved with the search “will carefully balance the compensation offer against the need to attract a top-quality candidate.”

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