Magazine article Risk Management

American Turnaround: Reinventing AT&T and GM and the Way We Do Business in the USA

Magazine article Risk Management

American Turnaround: Reinventing AT&T and GM and the Way We Do Business in the USA

Article excerpt

AMERICAN TURNAROUND

Reinventing AT&T and GM and the Way We Do Business in the USA

by Ed Whitacre with Leslie Cauley

Ed Whitacre is the Texan son of a railroad engineer. He grew up believing he would never leave his hometown, a little place called Ennis about 30 miles outside Dallas. Instead, he took a job at Southwestern Bell, which was his first stepping stone toward running the world's largest telecom company. "To this day I still don't know exactly how I got the job," writes Whitacre American Turnaround.

The book chronicles his rise within the phone giant that later became AT&T, from his early days in the 1960s to his role as CEO in making the company the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in 2007. Those elements of his story are intriguing, but the Whitacre's take on General Motors is even more fascinating.

Two years after leaving AT&T, he was the man tasked to lead GM out of Chapter 11. With a respected legacy and no role in bankrupting what once was the world's largest carmaker for 70 straight years, Whitacre is free to condemn a firm that he says had "no plan, no strategy" when he arrived. …

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