SVP, corporate communications, AT&T
It's been a busy year for Larry Solomon as he helped AT&T recover from its failed acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The company received a lot of press attention for the proposed purchase of its smaller rival for $39 billion, but the plan went sour when the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company, saying the deal would not be in the public's best interest. With Solomon's guidance, AT&T had launched a full-scale lobbying and PR campaign, including a dedicated website, which argued that the merger would result in more capital expenditure, job creation, and improved voice and data services. Despite this, pressure from both the government and competing wireless carriers pushed AT&T to scrap the deal and pay a $4 billion breakup fee to T-Mobile.
Good news followed for the telecom giant as AT&T benefitted from Apple's release of the iPhone 4S, surpassing previous smartphone sales records and beating figures reported by Verizon, its biggest rival. In May, the American Customer Satisfaction Index reported that AT&T had achieved a boost in customer satisfaction, scoring just one point below Verizon. The gain can undoubtedly be attributed in part to Solomon's communications tactics.