AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson, a veteran in the ever-evolving telecom industry, will kick off the fall semester Dean Speaker Series with a talk at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, in the Wells Fargo Room.
The event is free and open to the Haas community, but registration will be required. Details on registration will be posted on the Dean's Speaker Series website at the end of August.
Stephenson began his career in telecommunications in 1982 with Southwestern Bell Telephone (later renamed SBC) and rose through the ranks in a variety of leadership roles, including international director of finance, senior vice president for consumer marketing, and chief financial officer. Stephenson served as AT&T's chief operating officer from 2004 to 2007, when he was named chairman and CEO.
Stephenson also served as chairman of the board of Cingular Wireless when the company was having initial discussions with Steve Jobs on whether Cingular, which eventually became AT&T, would support the iPhone.
“I remember asking the question: Are we investing in a business model, are we investing in a product or are we investing in Steve Jobs?” Stephenson told the New York Times in May. “The answer to the question was, you’re investing in Steve Jobs. Let’s go after this thing. And we went after it, and the rest is history.”
Under Randall's leadership at AT&T, the company has expanded its AT&T U-verse advanced digital TV platform and created the AT&T Aspire educational initiative, a $350 million set of programs to help foster college and career readiness for at-risk students. As part of Aspire, company employees, including Stephenson himself, have been involved in more than 100,000 job-shadowing experiences for Aspire’s student participants.