president and co-chief executive officer of Verizon
Live Webcast December 3, 2001, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
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Ivan Seidenberg got into the communications business 30 years ago as a cable splicer's assistant. He's now president and co-CEO of Verizon, the largest of the new telecom-glomerates. Seidenberg is known as something of a visionary in the brave new interconnected global village, particularly in the wireless world.
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As chief executive of first NYNEX and then Bell Atlantic, Seidenberg was instrumental in transforming the industry through two of the nation's largest local phone company mergers. Bell Atlantic merged with NYNEX in 1997 to create a company with local phone and wireless services in 13 states and the District of Columbia. Then New York-based Bell Atlantic merged with GTE in June 2000 to create Verizon Communications. In 1999, he was key in forming Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest cellular business.
Seidenberg has pushed hard to allow local phone companies to enter the long distance market. And he depicts the FCC as outdated and arbitrary and warns it poses a threat to competition in the telecom industry.
"The trouble is, we cracked the human genome in less time than it took to open the long-distance market," Seidenberg said in a National Press Club speech last year. "The funny thing about this is that, after years of regulatory inducements designed to entice competitors into the local market, the only thing that really worked to get competitors to invest in local networks was to let us into long-distance."
Seidenberg, 54, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from City University of New York and a master's degree in business administration and marketing from Pace University.
He holds the directorship of The Hall of Science, the National Urban League and Pace University. Seidenberg also serves on the board of directors of Honeywell, American Home Products Corp., Boston Properties, Inc., CVS Corp., Viacom Inc. and the Museum of Television and Radio.
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