The Sharp Operator At Bell Atlantic

When Raymond W. Smith joined the Bell system 34 years ago as a freshly minted engineer in Pittsburgh, part of his training was to climb telephone poles. While some other aspiring managers were cool on the idea--and dropped their trainee's "hooks" as soon as they could--Smith kind of liked the view. His admirers say he hasn't stopped scaling heights at the company--or making waves in the telecommunications industry.

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