DuBose becomes Vertis chairman/CEO

Vertis Communications named Michael DuBose chairman/CEO on Dec. 6, effective immediately. Mr. DuBose assumes the CEO position from Dean Durbin, who has been CEO since February and president since November 2004. Mr. Durbin is resigning from those posts and is to provide transition support to Vertis.

“I am so excited about joining Vertis and to be part of a company that I believe has great potential,” Mr. DuBose said. “Throughout my career I have been successful in helping a variety of companies in difficult industries improve financial performance and create incremental value.”

Mr. DuBose takes the chairman’s position from Don Roland, who will continue to serve on the Vertis board of directors.

Vertis, owned by an investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Co. and Evercore Partners, is heavily in debt from a leveraged buyout last year. Third-quarter revenue fell 4 percent to $352.2 million from $367 million in Q3 2005. The company reported a net loss in the quarter of $18.1 million versus a net loss of $24.6 million in Q3 2005.

Mr. DuBose said he thinks that focusing on Vertis customers, supporting employees and investing in its business will strengthen Vertis’ position as a value-added partner with its customers and a leader in communications services.

Vertis also aims to compete better in an advertising environment that is moving away from traditional methods. The company is a leading provider of ad products and services including newspaper inserts such as coupons, television guides and Sunday comics. It also offers services such as consumer research and direct mail.

With net sales of about $1.5 billion last year, Vertis employs 6,000 people nationwide and 100 locally in its Baltimore headquarters.

Mr. DuBose joined Vertis after serving as senior adviser to Los Angeles investment firm Aurora Capital and chairman of Anthony International, San Fernando, CA. He also served as chairman and president/CEO of Aftermarket Technology Corp., a Downers Grove, IL, re-manufacturer of automotive products, from 1998 to 2005. Earlier, Mr. DuBose was chairman/CEO of Grimes Aerospace Co. He also has held executive positions at SAIC, General Instrument and General Electric.

“[Mr. DuBose] has really been able to transform businesses and find growth even though there might have been some challenging industry conditions surrounding these companies,” said Soren L. Oberg, managing director of Thomas H. Lee Partners and a Vertis director. “That really drove the decision to change at this point.”

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