AT&T Names Arroyo as CEO of Mexican Iusacell Mobile Unit

AT&T Inc. named F. Thaddeus Arroyo as chief executive officer of its newly acquired Mexican unit as it prepares to introduce the first phase of a cross-border mobile service with the U.S.

Arroyo, who had been based in Dallas as president of AT&T’s technology development unit, will replace Grupo Iusacell SA’s Adrian Steckel, AT&T said Friday in a statement. The Dallas-based company is adding 9.2 million subscribers with the purchase of Iusacell, which was completed today. It’s the third-largest mobile operator in Mexico and a direct competitor of billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB.

“We’ll begin work immediately to bring more wireless competition and improved mobile Internet service to Mexico,” Arroyo said in the statement. “We look forward to bringing the benefits of AT&T’s technology and resources to Mexico and contributing to the country’s bright economic future.”

AT&T’s pending acquisition of DirecTV, along with the purchase of Iusacell, gives the company a combined service territory covering large portions of Mexico and the U.S. John Stephens, AT&T’s chief financial officer, discussed the plan when he spoke to investors at a conference last month.

“It gives us the opportunity to create the first-ever North American mobile service area, covering more than 400 million customers, while at the same time get on the ground floor of the mobile broadband deployment in Mexico,” Stephens said.

Ensuring Competition

Mexico’s telecommunications regulator, known as IFT, said last month that it would impose conditions on AT&T to ensure it competes effectively in Mexico. AT&T had a long history as a partner of Slim’s company, including board seats and an equity stake. That came to an end with the announcement of the DirecTV deal.

Arroyo, whose appointment is effective immediately, will be based in Mexico City, said Fletcher Cook, an AT&T spokesman. Arroyo is a 19-year veteran of AT&T and has held senior executive positions including chief information officer at AT&T and AT&T Mobility. He was named one of the 50 most important Hispanics in technology and business by Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology for 2005.

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