Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars


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Jeff Kagan Wireless Analyst Telecom Columnist AI IoT PayTV influencer

Soon he was heading the business long-distance unit and in took over the consumer long-distance division. He canceled an unsuccessful ad campaign, replaced the ad agency and launched an aggressive campaign that put arch rival MCI on the run. Worse, the news had leaked to newspapers before an announcement was made. He gave them numbers backing up his boasts. Of course, Bob thought that of practically everyone who worked for him. On his first day at Qwest, Nacchio found a pair of cowboy boots resting by his desk, with a note from Anschutz, Bloomberg News later reported.

Nacchio rode high in the saddle during his first four years, taking Qwest from relative obscurity into the national spotlight with an initial public offering, a series of acquisitions and bold forecasts of financial performance. He instantly recognized that Qwest needed to broaden its strategy to include selling an array of cutting-edge telecommunications services such as data storage, consulting, software and website hosting.

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It also built a 25,mile national fiber-optic network along railroad tracks. The transition was rocky. US West chief Sol Trujillo, who was to be vice chairman, left soon after it was completed. Nacchio never moved to Denver, preferring to commute weekly by air from his New Jersey home and stay in a downtown Denver hotel near Qwest headquarters. US West, for better or worse, was woven into the fabric of Colorado. Nacchio moved quickly to fix customer-service problems that had haunted US West for years. He beefed up local phone networks, hired hundreds of new field technicians and increased investment in the Internet.

Qwest hit or bested Wall Street earnings targets 15 consecutive quarters, a point of pride for the CEO.


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Revenue from long-term deals was booked up front. One-time sales of network capacity were booked as recurring revenue. In one case, Qwest moved up the publication date of its phone directories to boost revenues. In addition, he regrets that in the company's darkest times he and the other senior executives couldn't stoke more employee confidence about the mission, causing people to fearfully "fill in the blanks" based on what they learned from the media. Acknowledgments Introduction Ch.

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    Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars
    Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars
    Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars
    Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars
    Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars
    Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars
    Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars Tough Calls: AT&T and the Hard Lessons Learned from the Telecom Wars

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