April 19, 1988 |
In his 17 months as chairman and chief executive of American Telephone & Telegraph, James E. Olson managed to give a seemingly befuddled company a sense of direction while turning the telecommunications giant into a leaner and more aggressive and profitable outfit. Most important, Olson, who died Monday following a brief struggle with cancer, developed a strategy that appears likely to keep AT&T on a successful path for years to come, analysts say.
April 18, 1988 |
James E. Olson, the forceful chairman of American Telephone & Telegraph Co. who got his start at the age of 17 cleaning silt out of manholes for the Bell System in Grand Forks, N.D., died early today at home of cancer. Olson, who had led the telecommunications giant since the fall of 1986, was 62. AT&T President Robert E. Allen, who took over from Olson after Olson became ill with colon cancer last month, will continue to direct the company until the board of directors elects a new chairman.
April 19, 1988 |
Sept. 1, 1986--Olson becomes American Telephone & Telegraph chairman. Sept. 18--Asks senior managers to trim their management staffs as part of a "new, hard look" at the company's overall costs, using cash incentives to induce early retirements. November--Completes plans to recast AT&T, an effort calling for the blending of the company's computer operations and telecommunications network services. Dec. 18--Announces the paring of 27,400 jobs over the following year and a $3.
May 13, 1987
Caltech, Pasadena, named James E. Olson, chairman and CEO of American Telephone & Telegraph Co., to its board of trustees. He became AT&T's vice president and chief operating officer in June, 1985, and assumed his current post last September.