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Thryv CEO Joe Walsh on Entrepreneurship and Converting the ‘Unclouded’

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Exec-Edge
·3 min read
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Thryv CEO Joe Walsh

By Jarrett Banks

Joe Walsh loves solving new problems. Whether it is restructuring debt or disrupting an industry or helping small businesses use cloud-based software, the CEO of Thryv Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: THRY), a yellow-pages publisher and cloud-based marketing services company, believes that it is a leader’s job to deliver value.

Dallas-based Thryv was created in a 2017 merger between Dex Media, a yellow-pages publisher that restructured its debt in 2016, and YP Holdings, another yellow-pages publisher. Mr. Walsh has positive view of the debt restructuring and the new beginning that followed, a lesson that he believes others can learn from.

Thryv, which went public through a direct listing in October, provides software that helps over 40,000 SaaS clients reach more customers, stay organized, get paid faster and generate reviews. These include building a digital customer database, automated marketing through email and text, updating business listings across the internet, scheduling online appointments, sending notifications and reminders, managing ratings and reviews, generating estimates and invoices and processing payments.

“I think that your rewards in life match your service,” Mr. Walsh told Exec Edge. “If the business is not prospering, it’s because it’s not delivering value. And if it’s delivering really good value, people will be willing to trade their money for it.”

Thryv’s revenue is generated from its SaaS segment and marketing services segment, which include print Yellow Pages, internet Yellow Pages sites including Yellowpages.com, Superpages.com and Dexknows.com, and search-engine marketing services.

In 2019, the company had $1.4 billion in revenue, generating a profit of $35.5 million. That is more revenue than Palantir.

Thryv’s directories are co-branded with phone providers such as Qwest, AT&T, and CenturyTel. Most of its revenues come from directory advertising sales. The company is also working to boost online distribution of its directory information and to create new interactive products that reach consumers through mobile devices.

On reaching those small businesses without cloud services, Mr. Walsh said his software specialists coach, teach and work with plumbers, locksmiths and air conditioning contractors across the country on how to implement cloud tools.

“Customers download the software, and they begin to use it and they begin to get their employees to adopt it,” Mr. Walsh said. “And it becomes the way they their conduct jobs, the way they get paid and get credit for those jobs afterwards.”

The company lets local businesses automate business functions including building a digital customer list, communicating with customers via email and text, updating business listings across the internet, accepting appointments, sending notifications and reminders, managing ratings and reviews, generating estimates and invoices, processing payments, and issuing invoices and coupons.

“Our focus is on this very high growth segment in which we think we’re in the the top of the second inning,” Mr. Walsh said. “We’re out there doing the missionary work, teaching, coaching, training and showing the unclouded how to use the cloud.”