Retired Chairman Emeritus, BellSouth Corporation (now AT&T)
Ackerman was the last Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BellSouth Corporation. An MBA from MIT, he spent his entire career in telecom, beginning in 1964 when he joined Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company as a Customer Service Representative. Ackerman steadily worked his way up the ranks, rising to Vice President in 1979. Five years later, as part of the breakup of the old AT&T during 1984, Southern Bell and South Central Bell combined to operate under the name BellSouth, with Ackerman assuming the position of VP of Corporate Planning and Development. He continued to climb up the corporate ladder, and in 1991 was appointed President and in 1992 became CEO. Ackerman was appointed Chairman in 1998. In 2007 the new AT&T Inc. (formerly Southwestern Bell) acquired BellSouth for $86 million; at that point Ackerman stepped down. He remains Chairman Emeritus of AT&T.
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