Answering the bell Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009

In 2003, Jack Cassidy became the president and CEO of Cincinnati Bell Inc. He had been with the phone service provider for seven years beforehand, at first helping to start up the company’s wireless division, and then selling bundled packages of landline, wireless and broadband Internet service.

Though his prior experience with the company went a long way toward preparing him for the challenges he’d face at the top, Cassidy soon found that his greatest challenge would be related to people — namely, his employees, shareholders and customers.

Upon receiving the top post at Cincinnati Bell, Cassidy had to immediately deal with the economics of the failed Broadwing investment, which was purchased for $5 billion and sold for $1 billion. Cincinnati Bell needed to refocus on delivering value to customers, returns to shareholders and a great work environment to employees. He started to accomplish that by putting more control of the company into the hands of his employees.

Since becoming president and CEO, Cassidy’s motto has been, “Hire smarter people at their specific craft and provide a productive environment for them in order to be successful.” With that in mind, Cassidy has sought out and hired experts in each of the fields that Cincinnati Bell services and allowed them to come up with creative, entrepreneurial solutions to address customer needs.

Cassidy says he likes to let his managers captain their own ships, design and roll out new products and services, and once the product matures, he brings it back into the belly of the ship so that other areas of the company can cross-sell the product to other markets.

The success of Cassidy’s proactive approach to leadership is evident in Cincinnati Bell’s numbers. In six years as president and CEO, Cassidy has grown the company’s revenue nearly tenfold.

How to reach: Cincinnati Bell Inc., (513) 397-9700 or