David W. Scobey Jr.
A Categorical Force in the Southern Economy
Inducted in 2006
His domain has been one of shifting regulatory climates, technological changes, and a highly competitive environment, but David W. Scobey Jr., president of Retail Markets for BellSouth Telecommunications, continues to focus his efforts on what he believes is most important in a business: people. Mr. Scobey always considers the customer, employee, and shareholder when making decisions. The members of his BellSouth team strive to go the extra mile. They do this because they know that Mr. Scobey has gone two miles.
A Nashville native, son of an engineer, and an Auburn University alumnus, Mr. Scobey came to BellSouth as an electrical engineering student. Graduating in 1978, the intern became a network engineer and, five years later, a manager. He initially developed digital telecommunication products in Denver. In subsequent posts, he would manage diverse aspects of BellSouth’s operations: sales, marketing, publishing, strategic planning, and new ventures. In 1998 he became president of BellSouth Long Distance. Taking off into this billion-dollar market, and with a vision backed by the planning he required, Mr. Scobey secured a launch of significant proportions. BellSouth claimed 40 percent of the market within two years.
Another challenge was presented in 2001 when Mr. Scobey took the lead as president of BellSouth’s Small Business Services. He turned a 6-percent decline in revenue into an industry-leading 6-percent revenue growth, gaining DSL (digital subscriber line) customers at an annual average growth rate of more than 30 percent and dramatically improving annual line loss. His attention to customer needs—delivered in person as well as in policy—led his Small Business Services team, which served 900,000 customers, to three J. D. Power and Associates’ awards. Clearly, Mr. Scobey’s performance has tremendous scope and impact. Mr. Scobey’s successes led to his being named president of Retail Markets in January 2005, giving him the opportunity to focus on both residential and small-business customers.
Recently, when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Mr. Scobey quickly went to Baton Rouge to help employees as they faced tremendous personal losses. He helped create “BellSouth Tent City” that housed more than 200 employees and family members. He also led his Small Business Services team to establish business service centers in the hardest hit areas to help customers develop backup plans and remain informed until service could be fully restored.
Residents of Alpharetta, Georgia, Mr. Scobey and his wife, Debbie, have two children, Lauren and Graham. He serves their community as a member of the Board of Elders of the North Atlanta Church of Christ and as a volunteer with Angel Flight. An instrument-rated pilot, he offers his time to make medical flights for the group, absorbing costs of transporting patients or donated blood, etc.
He gives of his time and resources to the Auburn University School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Advisory Board (including creating BellSouth educational partnerships) and to Harding University’s President’s Council. He is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University. Ardently supporting small business, he is a volunteer business educator and recently wrote an introduction to a guidebook that serves the needs of small businesses.
Mr. Scobey’s true passions are his family, church, and serving others.