Wednesday, June 19, 2013

American Turnaround

My strategy+business blog post this week is on Ed Whitacre's management memoir:

AT&T from Apples to iPhones

My grandfather repaired switchboards in Manhattan for the Bell system. When he retired in the 1960s, he and my grandmother lit out for the wilds of western New Jersey, where they bought a couple of acres of apple trees and lived quite comfortably on his pension. My great-grandparents, a waiter and an embroiderer, lived on the dividends from the AT&T shares they had purchased through my grandfather’s employee stock plan. Those were the days.
My mother inherited that stock in 2000. A few months later, AT&T announced an 83 percent dividend cut. By 2005, the former blue chip had been written off. “AT&T was a stripped-down long distance company with twenty straight quarters of declining revenue,” recalls Ed Whitacre in his memoir cum management guide, American Turnaround: Reinventing AT&T and GM and the Way We Do Business in the USA(with Leslie Cauley, Business Plus, 2013). “It was bleeding customers by the thousands, with no way to bring them back…a shell of a company with no future, a crummy balance sheet, and a tarnished brand name.” the rest here

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