Edward Whitacre, Jr. bigraphy, stories - American businessman

Edward Whitacre, Jr. : biography

November 4, 1941 -

Edward Earl "Ed" Whitacre, Jr. (born November 4, 1941) is the former Chairman and CEO of General Motors. He is also a former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of AT&T Inc., previously Southwestern Bell Corporation (SBC). He served as national president of the Boy Scouts of America from 1998 to 2000. On September 1, 2010, Whitacre stepped down as CEO, and retired as chairman of the board by the end of 2010.

Life and career

Whitacre was born in Ennis, Texas. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and is a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.In an editorial on the occasion of Whitacre's relinquishing the leadership of GM, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal expressed that Whitacre "very positively reflected on Texas Tech with what he accomplished" (

He began his career with Southwestern Bell in 1963 as a facility engineer.

In October 1988, Whitacre became president and chief operating officer of a regional bell operating company, Southwestern Bell Corporation. Two years later, Whitacre 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 division) in the United States. These acquisitions included Pacific Telesis (1997), SNET (1998), Comcast Cellular (1999), Ameritech (1999) and AT&T Corporation (2005), from which the post-merger company took its name, as well as the 2006 acquisition of Bell South.Wu, Tim, , New York : Random House, 2010. Cf. especially Chapter 18, , pp.238-253.

On June 23, 2006, he and the CEO of BellSouth were brought in under the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee following the AT&T-BellSouth merger. Whitacre was questioned regarding possible customer information leaks to the NSA in the interest of national security. There had been allegations by former AT&T technician Mark Klein that such work had been done in Room 641A of the San Francisco offices.

Whitacre's compensation totaled $61 million in 2006, $17 million in 2005, and about $14 million in 2004.Gubbins, Ed, , Telephony Online, Connected Planet, February 20, 2006

In 2006, Whitacre famously declared that companies like Google, Yahoo! or Vonage should not be able to “use the pipes for free.” Ryan, Patrick, , Policy by the Numbers, December 14, 2011

On April 27, 2007, at the AT&T annual stockholders meeting, Whitacre announced his intent to retire as chief executive officer and chairman of the board, effective June 3. The board of directors elected Randall Stephenson to succeed Whitacre as new CEO and chairman. Whitacre retired on June 4, 2007, with Randall Stephenson taking over the following morning. Upon retirement, Whitacre was eligible for a $158 million payout from AT&T. Following retirement, under his employment contract, Whitacre was entitled to receive some continuing benefits, including automobile use, access to AT&T's corporate aircraft for up to ten hours per month, use of AT&T office facilities and support staff, home security, and club memberships, as well as payment of applicable taxes resulting from these benefits, except for use of the aircraft. In addition, Whitacre has a three-year consulting contract with AT&T for which he is paid about $1 million annually. It has been reported that during his tenure at AT&T, Whitacre offered Randall Stephenson three words of advice via text message when the executive change was announced: "Give 'em hell"., The Associated Press, Sunday, June 3, 2007

BusinessWeek (1999) reported that, although the CEO of AT&T - amongst the largest and most influential names in telecommunications and its surrounding technology, Whitacre did not use e-mail or have a computer at his office.

As General Motors chairman and interim CEO, Whitacre does have a computer at his office and prefers to answer e-mail via BlackBerry.Scott, David Meerman, , December 03, 2009

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine