F. Duane Ackerman

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F. Duane Ackerman (born 1942) [1] is an American businessman. He was the last chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BellSouth Corporation.

BellSouth, LLC is an American telecommunications holding company based in Atlanta, Georgia. BellSouth was one of the seven original Regional Bell Operating Companies after the U.S. Department of Justice forced the American Telephone & Telegraph Company to divest itself of its regional telephone companies on January 1, 1984.


Early life

Ackerman was raised in Plant City, Florida. In 1964, he graduated from Rollins College with a B.S. in Physics. [2] [3] In 1970, he graduated from the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business with an MBA. [3] In 1978, [4] Ackerman also graduated from the MIT Sloan School of Management with a master's degree in management. [3]

Plant City, Florida City in Florida, United States

Plant City is an incorporated city in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States, approximately midway between Brandon and Lakeland along Interstate 4. The population was 34,721 at the 2010 census.

Rollins College US university

Rollins College is a private liberal arts college in Winter Park, Florida. It was founded in 1885 and is a member of the SACS, NASM, ACS, FDE, AAM, AACSB International, Council for Accreditation of Counseling, and Related Educational Programs. Rollins has about 30 undergraduate majors and several graduate programs.

Physics Study of the fundamental properties of matter and energy

Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its motion and behavior through space and time, and that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, and its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.


Ackerman began his communications career in 1964, and has served in numerous capacities with BellSouth. In November 1992, he was named President and Chief Executive Officer of BellSouth Telecommunications, BellSouth's local telephone service unit and largest subsidiary. He was promoted to vice chairman and Chief Operating Officer in January 1995, and was elevated to the position of President and CEO in January 1997. A year later, the BellSouth board added the chairman's responsibilities to Ackerman's portfolio, and he served as chairman and CEO until BellSouth's merger with AT&T on December 29, 2006. [3] In 2006, his total annual compensation was a reported $13.97 million, with a 5-year compensational total of $43.30 million. [4]

The president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between the president and the chief executive officer varies, depending on the structure of the specific organization. In a similar vein to the chief operating officer, the title of corporate president as a separate position is also loosely defined; the president is usually the legally recognized highest rank of corporate officer, ranking above the various vice presidents, but on its own generally considered subordinate, in practice, to the CEO. The powers of the president vary widely across organizations and such powers come from specific authorization in the bylaws like Robert's Rules of Order.

AT&T American multinational conglomerate holding company

AT&T Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered at Whitacre Tower in Downtown Dallas, Texas. It is the world's largest telecommunications company, the largest provider of mobile telephone services, and the largest provider of fixed telephone services in the United States through AT&T Communications. Since June 14, 2018, it is also the parent company of mass media conglomerate WarnerMedia, making it the world's largest media and entertainment company in terms of revenue. As of 2018, AT&T is ranked #9 on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

The SBC-AT&T merger created a uniquely complex situation for Ackerman with regards to Cingular Wireless, a joint venture between BellSouth and SBC. After the SBC/AT&T merger, the new AT&T began competing with BellSouth for lucrative business landline customers in BellSouth's primary market, disturbing the historical territorial lines between the former Regional Bell Operating Companies or RBOCs (SBC and BellSouth). Indeed, this issue, as well as the desire for AT&T to entirely control the highly-profitable Cingular venture, lead AT&T to purchase BellSouth outright.

Ackerman serves on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and is immediate past chairman of the national Council on Competitiveness, as well as the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. He is a former member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. A past chair of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Ackerman is vice chairman of the Rollins College Board of Trustees and a former member of the Board of Governors for the Society of Sloan Fellows of MIT. [3]

Awards and honors

In 2017, he was inducted as a Georgia Trustee, an honor given by the Georgia Historical Society in conjunction with the Governor of Georgia to individuals whose accomplishments and community service reflect the ideals of the founding body of Trustees, which governed the Georgia colony from 1732 to 1752.

Georgia Historical Society organization

The Georgia Historical Society (GHS), headquartered in Savannah, Georgia, is the oldest cultural institution in the state and one of the oldest historical organizations in the United States. It is the only statewide historical society in Georgia. Since 1839, the society has collected, examined, and taught Georgia history through a variety of educational outreach programs, publications, and research services.

Trustee Georgia is the name of the period covering the first twenty years of Georgia history, from 1732–1752, because during that time the English Province of Georgia was governed by a Board of Trustees. England's King George II, for whom the colony was named, signed a charter establishing the colony and creating its governing board on July 7, 1732. His action culminated a lengthy process. Tomochichi was a Native American that resides along the savannah river that allowed Oglethorpe to settle on the Yamacraw Bluff.

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  1. "F. Duane Ackerman". Reference for Business. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  2. "Rollins Notable Alumni". Rollins College. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "F. Duane Ackerman". Winter Park Institute, Rollins College. Archived from the original on February 11, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  4. 1 2 "CEO Pay: F Duane Ackerman". Forbes. Retrieved October 6, 2010.