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

Edward Whitacre, Author, Leslie Cauley, With
Ed Whitacre, with Leslie Cauley. Hachette/Business Plus, $28.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4555-1301-7
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Release date: 02/05/2013
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4555-1300-0
Compact Disc - 9 pages - 978-1-61113-496-4
Audio Product - 978-1-4789-7843-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-61969-910-6
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4555-1299-7
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An inspiring memoir from the laconic CEO and chairman of AT&T and GM. Whitacre spent 44 years at AT&T, starting as a student engineer in the early 1960s at what was then Southwestern Bell and eventually leading the company. His time there was rewarding, exciting, and beneficial for the company: he oversaw the original iPhone contract, implemented budget-saving, cost-cutting measures, and did away with executive privilege. He also made good but less popular decisions such as moving Southwestern Bell from St. Louis to his native Texas. After spending just two years getting accustomed to retirement, Whitacre was asked by the White House to take over the sinking GM. He agreed, intending to be quickly in and out, but instead ended up shepherding the company through the launch of the Volt and a highly successful IPO. The Obama administration approved of his success, and he finally stepped down, handing GM over to a new CEO. Whitacre characterizes himself as a “private man by nature,” but wrote the book to “thank and publicly acknowledge” the people who helped him throughout his career. In what is basically a vanity project, albeit a sweet one, Whitacre describes his philosophy, management style, and business principles, all of which are interesting, but not particularly novel. Agent: Joe Veltri, Gersh Agency. (Feb.)
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