How To Find An Executive's Phone Number Or Email Address

So you’ve exhausted the normal customer service routes and want to shoot your complaint to the top, but you don’t know how to reach that CEO or executive. Our resident contact info bloodhound, Dyan Flores, put together the tools and tricks she uses to sniff out executive customer service information.

First, check the company website. Many companies will have a list of their high-ranking executives, and if you’re lucky they might even include their contact info too.

If the company is publicly traded, enter the company name into Google Finance. The current CEO should be listed under the bottom right area called Management. If the company isn’t on the stock market, Google the term “CEO” and the company’s name. This usually will yield news stories that’ll mention who the CEO of the company is. Make sure you aren’t looking at outdated stories.

Once you have the CEO’s name, do a Google search that consists of his/her name, the term “CEO”, and the term “email” or “phone number”. Many times this will either bring up listings from business directories that may have the contact info you need, or it might also bring up company information that has the contact info for the CEO included.

If these basic searches fail, then it’s time to get a little sneaky:

If there is a phone number listed on the company website, call and ask for the office of *insert name of CEO here*.
Can’t hurt to try, right? Google Finance is again a great resource for finding the phone number for the corporate headquarters.

If you call after business hours, sometimes the company will have an automated directory that you might be able to navigate to get through to leave the CEO a message.

If you call and reach an operator, using a line like, “I’m updating my boss’ contact list and I wanted to make sure I had the most current information for so-and-so,” can get you far. Sure, it’s a little dishonest, but it’s a pretty reliable tactic.

Try finding an email address that shows the format of the company’s email addresses. i.e. firstname.lastname@business.com. Often times you’ll find this on press releases where company publicists will list their contact info. Try fitting the CEO’s name into that email format and sending off an email to them. Sometimes companies will change the format of their executive’s email addresses, but more often than not, this will work.

With a little Googling, persistence and maybe even some social engineering, you can increase the odds that your problem will land in his lap, or at least in the hands of his executive customer service team. — DYAN FLORES

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. ShadowArmor says:

    A little social engineering can go a long way, but most call centers won’t give out the info regardless (and relish in their immunity to avoid doing so).

    In my experience, “real” people’s e-mail addresses at the company always have a different format. They insert underscores into the name, add the middle initial, or tinker with the domain (adding a “mail.company.com).

  2. Xerloq says:

    Don’t forget sites like Yahoo Finance, and Hoovers.com (free version). Check a company’s financial reports, too.

    You don’t have to be “dishonest” when social engineering. Just tell them you’re trying to update your own contact list. Give the operator you best guess at the valid email address for the person you’re trying to reach by saying “I have john.smith@company.com for Mr. John Smith.” Most companies follow one of the standard formats (though the CXOs often differ):
    john.smith@compnay.com
    john_smith@company.com
    jsmith@company.com

    Take a guess, and the person may correct it.

    Also, remember that the operators/executive assistants don’t have tons of time, so be polite and get to the point. Make sure to thank them for their help. If they reject you, remember that their job is to keep people out.

  3. Xerloq says:

    @ShadowArmor: Don’t bother with the call centers… they’re often contracted out and may have no idea who the C-level people are. Get the company’s main line and try your social engineering there. You can get the main line from one of the aforementioned sources.

  4. bohemian says:

    I can’t even get a supervisor at a call center anymore. If I have a real problem I can’t solve myself that is going to be the route I would take (calling corporate).

  5. kwsdurango says:

    Happy Birthday (whenever it is) – Here’s the not-so-secret website the pros use: http://www.jigsaw.com. It isn’t free but sometimes getting the right person is worth it. Jigsaw saved me a ton of time during my recent campaign against British Airways to find my long-lost luggage. Good luck!

  6. Elvisisdead says:

    Looking at the financial reports of the company is the best way to determine the e-mail format. It always has a contact person in corporate communications who is available to respond to questions and includes their e-mail address.

  7. aeix says:

    I tried to find contact info once for Kia Motors and every phone number I could find was wrong/disconnected, even on Google. The Kia website only had numbers for customer service. When I called them about my problem, they wouldn’t give me any contact numbers, so I just hung up, called back, and said I had a phone meeting with someone in the main office, but had lost the number. That at least got me the main switchboard’s number. Some companies try so hard to keep their real contact info out of the public, so it really is all about finding creative ways to break through the brick wall.

  8. RebekahSue says:

    You can often get hold of someone if you go to the Secretary of State’s web site and get the company’s Agent for Service. It won’t always work, but I’ve magically gotten hold of executives when the agent – also owner – received a letter mailed to, say, his house :)

    the agent isn’t ALWAYS the owner. this is, however, another method worth sharing.

  9. dbltrouble says:

    An executive is likely to have a public and private email. If you do get an email address, it is likely to be the former and not the latter. You can only hope that it will actually be reviewed.

    At a seminar, one activist provided the advice, that emails are the easiest to ignore, telephone calls second , and if you really want to be noticed or read, a facsimile is best-at least for legislative representative’s offices.

    I would argue that a physical form of address, e.g. facsimile or better, a real letter, has to be handled and thus more likely to be read. After the anthrax thing (and letter bombs), I can understand the issue of facsimile v real letter.

  10. CSAdvocates says:

    This is a great article. Great advice. I share this with many people if they think they may want to tackle their own consumer issues. Otherwise, getting to the top can be very complicated especially if you are dealing with secretive companies like Wells Fargo. Companies like T-Mobile are just uncooperative and companies like AT&T are just too big. I have to say the more secretive a company is, the less chances you will have to get anywhere. I would rather deal with too big versus secretive.

  11. FitzCrisp says:

    Yesterday my friend, a OEF Veteran, was denied the ability to enter the Family Dollar located at 2310 Deans Bridge Road, GA because he had a service dog (ID tag & vest were worn). I am seeking out the email address of CEO Howard Levine. Forbes states the average Family Dollar employee earns circa $66k per annum -far more than this service member does or will make due to injuries. It is beyond shameful that a soldier who served his country honorably should return only to be denied a shopping experience. The ADA laws must be better instilled in Family Dollar’s employees – especially because this 10-year war continues to produce a generation of men and women who need to feel self-sufficient while never being whole again. I am publicly seeking a response from Family Dollar. I can be contacted through either my personal email (skcrisp@gmail.com) or my government one (sarah.crisp@us.army.mil) to discuss additional specifics of the incident.