TMCnet - World's Largest Communications and Technology Community




Edward Whitacre, former CEO for AT&T, Tapped as CEO for the ‘New’ General Motors

By: Patrick Barnard

Edward Whitacre Jr., former CEO for AT&T, has been named the new CEO of General Motors .

GM’s interim Chairman Kent Kresa will remain in his position until the launch of the “New GM” later this year, after the company emerges out of bankruptcy. Other members of the company's board include Philip Laskawy, Kathryn Marinello, Erroll Davis Jr., E. Neville Isdell and Chief Executive Frederick Henderson.

Whitacre, 67, served as chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc. and its predecessor companies from 1990 to 2007. He serves on the boards of ExxonMobil Corporation and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation.

Whitacre began his career with Southwestern Bell in 1963 as a facility engineer. The following year, he graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering.

In 1988 he became president and chief operating officer of Regional Bell Operating Company, Southwestern Bell Corporation. Two years later, he became chairman of the board and chief executive officer.

In 1995, Southwestern Bell Corporation changed its name to SBC Communications. Whitacre led SBC through a series of mergers and acquisitions in building the largest provider of both local long distance telephone services and wireless service (through its Cingular (News - Alert) division) in the United States. These acquisitions included Pacific Telesis (1997), SNET (1998), Comcast Cellular (1999), Ameritech (1999) and AT&T (2005), from which the post-merger company took its name, as well as the 2006 acquisition of Bell South.

In 2006, Whitacre and the CEO of BellSouth (News - Alert) were brought in under the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee following the AT&T-BellSouth merger. Most questions to Whitacre were regarding possible customer information leaks to the NSA.

Whitacre announced his retirement in April 2007 and was replaced by Randall Stephenson, who now serves as AT&T’s CEO and chairman of the board. He reportedly had the longest run as CEO of a telecommunications company in history.

It is expected that the six other members of the current board will retire following the approval of the sale of GM assets to the new entity.

In addition, the Canadian government and the new UAW Voluntary Employee Benefit Association (VEBA) will each nominate one director, bringing the total number of New GM directors to 13.

While he does not necessarily agree with the decision to have Whitacre lead GM, TMC President and Editor-in-Chief Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) praised Whitacre in a blog post today as “a masterful businessman and did a fantastic job working to get federal regulators to repeal telecom deregulation while at the same time reassembling an AT&T monopoly which to be fair now competes with Verizon and a slew of cable companies.” Whitacre, Tehrani wrote, “laid the foundation for IPTV delivery and assembled a major force in the cellular industry via AT&T Wireless.”

» Internet Telephony Magazine Table of Contents

Today @ TMC
Upcoming Events
ITEXPO West 2012
October 2- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
The World's Premier Managed Services and Cloud Computing Event
Click for Dates and Locations
Mobility Tech Conference & Expo
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
Cloud Communications Summit
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas