After 13 years helping grow what today is the nation’s largest paging company, Terry Scott, Paging Network Inc.’s president and chief executive officer, is stepping down, disclosing no future career plans.
“It’s a great company,” said Scott. “But it’s a very different company today than in its earlier years, when I derived the most personal and professional satisfaction.” Scott’s resignation is effective Oct. 31. No potential successors have been identified.
Looking at PageNet’s success and forthcoming opportunities, many wonder, why now?
According to Scott, the company has three key missions: focusing on the core paging business, developing and constructing its nationwide narrowband PCS networks with VoiceNow and investigating international ventures. “VoiceNow and the international aspects are in the embryonic stages,” so it made sense either to leave now or wait 3 to 5 years for those endeavors to come to fruition, Scott said. Resigning now is best, Scott said, noting he wants to spend more time with his kids and is satisfied financially with his current lifestyle. Scott said he plans to keep most of his 400,000 PageNet shares.
Some sources suspect Scott will pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. In an interview with RCR, Scott noted the possibility but said he has a number of issues to consider and discussing options now is premature.
In 1982, Scott left Arthur Young (now Ernst & Young L.L.P.) and joined with George M. Perrin, PageNet’s founder, to venture into the paging industry with a new kind of approach. “I was the first employee,” recalled Scott, who began as vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer.
Scott said, “We focused on operating as lean and efficient as we possibly could.” In building out its systems, the company invested in labor-saving techniques, including using remote monitoring devices, which require fewer technicians.
Scott became president in 1992 and a year later Perrin, initially CEO, renounced his title to Scott and became chairman.
Scott and Perrin feel there is sufficient time to find a suitable replacement so “the company doesn’t skip a beat.”. Emphasizing the need to become increasingly consumer-oriented, Perrin wants to find a CEO who possesses expertise running a large multilocation consumer-oriented company. Illustrating his philosophy on future business, Perrin exclaimed, “We’re going to get outside this company more than ever before and start at the customer and work backwards.”
If the position isn’t filled by Scott’s departure date, Perrin will resume an active role in the interim.