Who is 'F. Duane Ackerman'

F. Duane Ackerman is the former President and CEO of BellSouth, one of the "Baby Bells" formed after the 1984 breakup of AT&T forced by the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit, from 1997 to 2006 and Chairman of the Board from 1998 to 2006. He led the company through the deregulation of the telephone industry, helped it expand its international presence and oversaw its 2006 merger with AT&T. During his tenure, he was well known for remaining committed to his roots in customer service. From 1993 to 2003, BellSouth led all local telephone service providers in customer service satisfaction according to the University of Michigan American Customer Satisfaction Index.

BREAKING DOWN 'F. Duane Ackerman'

F. Duane Ackerman was born in Plant City, Florida in 1942.  He earned his undergraduate degree in physics from Rollins College and his MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company (the predecessor to BellSouth) in the customer service department in 1964. He was named President and Chief Executive Officer of BellSouth Telecommunications, BellSouth's local telephone service unit and largest subsidiary, in November 1992. He was named vice chairman and Chief Operating Officer in January 1995 before becoming President and Chief Executive Officer.

Ackerman served on the boards of Wachovia Corporation, the Allstate Corporation, United Parcel Service and Home Depot. He was also active with the Georgia Research Alliance, the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Woodruff Arts Center and the National Council on Competitiveness. President George W. Bush named him as chair of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. He received an honorary doctorate from Rollins College in 2000 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University in 2001.

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