I don't know how many of you are still around and how many of you have sworn off work for the holidays, but we can't let the year end without choosing our FierceTelecom 2008 Person of the Year. FierceTelecom die-hards know that this long-standing, one-year-old tradition is one of the major moments of the holiday season, akin to the lighting of that big tree in Manhattan, or the ceremonial claim-staking of otherwise public parking spots after a Chicago snowstorm.
Last year, our FierceTelecom Person of the Year for 2007 was Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin. Some of you may want to nominate him again this year, but I have arbitrarily decided that there shall be no repeats for FTPotY (Please do not pronounce this acronym "FT-potty"). I will announce this year's FTPotY on Wednesday- Christmas Eve, long known as the most sacred night of the year because it is the last shopping day before Christmas, just got a little more sacred. But, I need your help making my choice, because I highly value your opinion.
Here are a few possible candidates:
Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T, that big telco up on the hill
Ivan Seidenberg, chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications, that other big telco over on that other hill
Barack Obama, broadband promiser, telco immunizer, Net neutrality supporter, all in one package
Ben Verwaayen, old BT CEO, new Alcatel-Lucent CEO, already making big changes
Viviane Reding, would-be mother of a telecom super-regulator in Europe
You may have other ideas, and that's exactly what I want to hear. Our FTPotY does not need to be a saint or a champion. It just needs to be someone who made telecom headlines in 2008, and may have had, or is now in, a position to have a distinct influence on the industry. Post a comment and give me your vote for one of the above, or your own write-in candidate.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin still has not claimed his FTPotY award from last year