Mike Armstrong's Last Stand

AT&T's embattled CEO is locked in an inch-by-inch struggle to eke out a modest victory

In November, during a course she teaches at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Evanston, Ill., Oprah Winfrey delved into the topic of fear the way only the famous talk-show host can: She talked about her own trepidation in trying to teach a graduate course. Then she turned for more insight to her special guest for the class--none other than C. Michael Armstrong, chairman and CEO of AT&T. "What I tried to share with the students is that fear is part of life," he says. "To deny fear will really keep you from dealing with fear."

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