Chairman of the Board;
Cheif Executive Officer, SBC Communications
Edward E. Whitacre Jr. is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of SBC Communications Inc.
Whitacre has led SBC through an era of unprecedented growth, leading a series of mergers and acquisitions that re-shaped the telecommunications landscape, including the acquisitions of Pacific Telesis (1997), SNET (1998), Comcast Cellular (1999) and Ameritech (1999). SBC expanded into the wireless communications business and made investments in Teléfonos de México and Telkom South Africa.
A native of Ennis, Texas, Whitacre graduated from Texas Tech University in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering. He began his career with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in 1963 as a facility engineer in Lubbock. He progressed through a series of assignments in the company's operational departments in Texas, Arkansas and Kansas.
From 1982 to 1985, Whitacre was in charge of Southwestern Bell Telephone Company's Kansas Division, leading the state division through the divestiture of the Bell System. He then moved to corporate headquarters where he served as group president, vice president-revenues and public affairs, and vice chairman and chief financial officer.
Whitacre was made president and chief operating officer in October 1988. In that position, he was responsible for the operation of SBC's six primary subsidiaries. On January 1, 1990, Whitacre assumed his current position as SBC's chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
Under his leadership, SBC was named the "World's Most Admired" telecommunications company by Fortune magazine for the sixth consecutive year in 2003, making SBC the only telecommunications company to hold the #1 spot since the award was first published. Fortune also named SBC "America's Most Admired" telecommunications company for the seventh time in eight years.
Whitacre has been named one of the Top 25 Executives of the Year by BusinessWeek and was listed as one of the "Best CEOs" in America by Worth magazine. He has also earned a number of awards for his contributions to business and civic affairs, including the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce's Freeman Award, the Spirit of Achievement Award from the National Jewish Medical and Research Center and the International Citizen of the Year Award from the San Antonio World Affairs Council. He has also been inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Achievement. In addition, Whitacre is actively involved in a variety of educational and civic activities.
Whitacre serves on the
boards of Anheuser-Busch Companies, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation,
Emerson Electric Co., and The May Department Stores Company. He is also on
the board of the Institute for International Economics and is a member of
The Business Council.