Former GM, AT&T leader headlines UT Arlington College of Business' Executive Dinner

News Release — 14 April 2011


Media contact: Herb Booth, (817) 272-7075,

ARLINGTON - Ed Whitacre, former chairman and chief executive officer of General Motors and AT&T, will offer “Lessons in Leadership” as the keynote speaker for the 2011 Executive Dinner hosted by UT Arlington’s College of Business.

AEd Whitacre

Ed Whitacre

Whitacre joined GM as chairman when the new company launched in July 2009 and held that position until the end of December 2010. He also served as chief executive officer from December 2009 through August 2010. He guided the automotive giant as it emerged from bankruptcy proceedings and was known for the clear mission he set for GM: Design, Build and Sell the World’s Best Vehicles. He left GM in December 2010.

Dan Himarios, dean of the UT Arlington College of Business, said Whitacre represents the pinnacle of American management.

“He brought GM back from the brink of extinction,” Himarios said. “With the rich tradition GM has here in Arlington, it’s no exaggeration to say that Ed Whitacre preserved thousands of jobs for the Arlington plant.”

Whitacre also served as chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T from 1990 to June 2007 and continues to hold the title of AT&T chairman emeritus. During his tenure with the telecommunications giant, Whitacre led what was then SBC Communications through a series of industry-changing mergers and acquisitions, including the 2005 purchase of AT&T Corp., after which the company adopted that name.

The Executive Dinner begins with a 6 p.m. reception and registration April 27, 2011, at the Arlington Sheraton Hotel, 1500 Convention Center Drive. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. with alumni awards and recognition scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $45 each or $35 for UT Arlington alumni and Arlington Chamber of Commerce members. Prices for tables of eight start at $500. Credit card reservations may be faxed to the College of Business at 817-272-2073. Checks may be made to the UTA College of Business, 701 S. West Street, Box 19377, Arlington TX 76019.

Contact James Sharp at 817-272-5832 or for more information.

Whitacre was born in Ennis, Texas. He graduated from Texas Tech University in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering. He began his career with Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. in 1963 as a facility engineer in Lubbock.

He currently serves on the boards of Exxon Mobil Corp. and the PGA Tour. He is also a member of The Business Council. He previously served on the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, the boards of the Institute for International Economics, Anheuser-Busch Cos. and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. 

Whitacre's leadership extends into the community where he has been active in the Boy Scouts of America, is a former regent for Texas Tech University and has served with the United Way.

BusinessWeek named Whitacre one of the Top 25 Executives of the Year in 2010 in recognition of his commitment to business and community. He also has won a number of other awards.


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