The news has just come down from on high, Ed Whitacre, CEO of at&t, is retiring come June 3, 2007. He is being succeeded by Randall Stephenson.
Whitacre, 65, is the longest-serving CEO in the telecommunications industry, and one of the longest-serving in the Fortune 500. He has been Chairman and CEO since 1990, when the company was Southwestern Bell, then the smallest of the so-called "Baby Bells." During his tenure, Whitacre led a dramatic transformation of the company into the new AT&T, the world's largest communications company, re-shaping the telecommunications landscape in the process.
Stephenson is at&t's current COO (chief operating officer). Before becoming COO, Stephenson was senior executive vice president and chief financial officer for SBC, during which time the company reduced its net debt from $30 billion to near zero by early 2004, positioning the company to make strategic acquisitions of AT&T Wireless, AT&T Corp. and BellSouth.