Telecom Italia's Patuano says AT&T has got the right model for success

Telecom Italia's CEO Marco Patuano found that AT&T's (NYSE: T) CEO Randall Stephenson gave him the best advice on how to turn around his struggling company out of all the high-tech executives he met on a recent trip to the U.S., reports Bloomberg.

In March, Patuano conducted an "innovation trip" to the U.S. where he conducted meetings with directors from Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), but he said that AT&T is the example he would like to follow.

"AT&T is an excellent turnaround case study," said Patuano in an interview with Bloomberg. "Telecom Italia is very interested in their ability to transform their business."

Patuano assumed the CEO reins last year from Franco Bernabe, who left after six years with the telco during a time when its shares dropped over 70 percent. The telco has seen aggressive rivals like Vodafone eat into its annual sales.

He has seen a number of challenges since taking over last September. Standard & Poor's cut the carrier's debt rating to junk.

Like AT&T's Stephenson, Patuano sees potential growth in the video services business. Today, AT&T has more than 10 million U-verse subscribers.

Driven by the advent of U-verse, which now represents 57 percent of wireline consumer revenues, AT&T has been able to continually offset ongoing declines in its traditional landline phone business. During the fourth quarter, gains in U-verse drove up total wireline broadband ARPU 7 percent year-over-year to $170 a month.

For more:
- Bloomberg has this article

Related articles:
Telecom Italia drops plans to divest its wireline network
Telecom Italia credit rating may be headed downward after exec quits
Telecom Italia CEO Bernabe quits amid break over strategy
Telecom Italia directors and politicians challenge Telefónica's plans

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