Jack Grubman: The Power Broker

From his Wall Street perch, he's reshaping telecom and stirring up controversy

In February, 1998, senior executives of SBC Communications Inc. were weighing a decision that would rattle the rafters of the telecom industry: Should they buy Ameritech Corp.? Before they decided, they wanted the advice of Salomon Smith Barney analyst Jack B. Grubman. So they whisked Grubman to a corporate powwow in Scottsdale, Ariz., to get his vision of the industry and what SBC should do to survive. Grubman didn't mince words. He told SBC's top guns that the company needed to get bigger--fast. Sure enough, three months later, SBC ponied up $72 billion for Ameritech and made plans to invade 30 markets outside its territory. "We were very concerned about the Street's reaction to the deal, and we wanted Jack's advice and counsel," says James Kahan, SBC's senior executive vice-president for corporate development.

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