In compiling our list of powerful women in the wireline industry, it was hard to overlook the influence of Maggie Wilderotter, CEO and Chairman, Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR), on the wireline industry segment.
After successful stints at both the former AT&T Wireless and Microsoft, Wilderotter joined Frontier Communications in 2004 as President and CEO and went to work of revamping the management structure.
But what kept us coming back to Wilderotter, the CEO and Chairman of Frontier Communications, is that she constructed second big acquisition to take place in the tier two ILEC market. Following CenturyTel's acquisition of the former Embarq by snapping up Verizon's rural assets, Wilderotter and her management team set out to acquire Verizon's rural lines in 14 U.S. states.
In a single stroke, the former AT&T and Microsoft executive basically conducted one of the largest telecom acquisitions to take place in this part of the century. The $8.6 billion deal, which was completed earlier this month, expanded Frontier's network reach and overall service footprint into 14 rural states--lines that Verizon had largely ignored in favor of its more profitable NFL cities and of course separately its wireless business.
Of course, Wilderotter's main challenge going forward will be the ability of the company to respond quickly to some of the initial issues that have cropped up with transferring Verizon's lines over to its own system--an issue that is largely attributed to Verizon's lack of attention on these mainly rural assets. Thus far, Wilderotter and her has been responding swiftly to correct issues.
Conducting complex deals, however, is only one of Wilderotter's talents as Frontier's CEO. Along with overseeing the day to day activities of the mostly rural ILEC, Wilderotter is a champion of executive mentoring. In 2006, Wilderotter-who revamped Frontier's management team when she took over the company in 2004--set up an executive mentoring program that couples top management team members with a board member that provides "informal coaching."