One of the biggest unanswered questions about the Boston Globe’s delivery fiasco is who made the decision to change vendors and did anyone protest? We now have some answers.

Globe CEO Mike Sheehan tells me that publisher John Henry was dissatisfied that their existing vendor, Publishers Circulation Fulfillment (PCF), had a virtual monopoly on newspaper distribution in this area. Henry was determined to address that and sincerely believed a change would be good for both customers and his bottom line.

With that in mind, Henry hired an outside consultant, Ken Harding of Denver-based FTI, a company widely recognized for expertise in newspaper logistics. Harding, along with the Globe’s Executive Vice President of Business Management, Andrew Perlmutter, and a team of advisors, crunched numbers, reached out to California-based newspaper distributor ACI Media Group and determined they could do better. Harding did not respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, according to several Morrissey Blvd. insiders, the Globe’s own circulation department warned Henry and others that the new system was not going to work. As one insider told me, “the non-newspaper people won the debate” over people with decades of experience. The insider went on to say, “This never could have happened under (former publisher) Chris Mayer,” because he would have known that in order to bust a monopoly you have to have an equal or better game plan. Clearly the Globe did not.

Sheehan admits there was no way PCF was about to hand over their computerized distribution routes so when their contract expired at the end of December, the gun went off and ACI took over. Ideally, Sheehan says, they would have changed the distribution system “zip code by zip code” but they had no time.

Meanwhile, Sheehan says they’ve gone back to PCF, and their distribution software, which should make this coming Monday's transition to a two-vendor system a lot easier.

Coincidentally, Andrew Perlmutter, a Harvard MBA in his early 30s, is leaving the paper to join his fiancé out of the area.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post has been updated.
Globe CEO Mike Sheehan does not agree with the sequence of events as reported in this article.