Ed Whitacre keynotes inaugural UTSA College of Engineering Game Changer lecture

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Ed Whitacre

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(March 18, 2013) -- Ed Whitacre, former chairman and CEO of General Motors and chairman emeritus of AT&T Inc., will present the keynote address of the inaugural UTSA College of Engineering Game Changer lecture.

>> The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be 1 p.m., Friday, March 22 in the Main Building Auditorium (0.106) on the UTSA Main Campus.

The new lecture series will present highly successful engineers and community leaders to share their knowledge and experiences with students and others in the university and engineering communities. Whitacre's lecture, "Lessons in Leadership" will touch on his rise to prominence and how, as an engineer, he successfully navigated the business world.>/p>

"Each lecture in this series is meant to inspire students and give them a role model they can use as a guidepost for their own career paths," said Mauli Agrawal, dean of the UTSA College of Engineering. "Mr. Whitacre is known for his diligence, attention to detail and decisive management style, and we are very excited that our students will be able to witness what makes a great leader tick."

A native Texan, Edward E. Whitacre Jr. began his career with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in 1963 as a facility engineer in Lubbock, Texas. Today, he is known worldwide for his leadership at AT&T Inc. and General Motors.

As chairman and CEO of AT&T from 1990 until retiring in June 2007, Whitacre led then-SBC Communications (SBC) on a disciplined growth strategy and rebuilt AT&T into the largest telecommunications company in America and the world. Forbes magazine named AT&T "Company of the Year" for 2006.

Based on his success at AT&T, Whitacre was tapped to be chairman and CEO of General Motors Company (GM), when the new company launched in July 2009. Whitacre overhauled GM's management and brands and within one year of the company declaring bankruptcy, it earned $1.3 billion and prepared to pay back the government's $50 million bailout. He stepped down as CEO of GM in September 2010 and retired as chairman of the board on December 31, 2010.

In recognition of his commitment to business and community, Whitacre was named one of the Top 25 Executives of the Year by BusinessWeek in 2010. He also has earned a number of awards for his contributions to business and civic affairs including the Corporate Leadership Award from the National Minority Supplier Development Council and the Obelisk Leadership Award.

His book, "American Turnaround -- Reinventing AT&T and GM and the Way We Do Business in the USA," written with Leslie Cauley, was released in February 2013. Whitacre graduated from Texas Tech University in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering.

For more information, visit the UTSA College of Engineering website.