|Born||Solomon Dennis Trujillo
November 17, 1951
Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
|Occupation||Chief executive officer|
|Salary||A$11 million including bonuses|
Solomon Dennis "Sol" Trujillo (born November 17, 1951) is an American businessman, global media-communications and technology executive. He has served as the CEO of Telstra, US West, Orange S.A. and has held executive positions in United States Federal government and state governments.
Trujillo was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming to Solomon and Theresa (née Lujan) Trujillo. Trujillo attended Cheyenne's East High School and the University of Wyoming, where he earned his Bachelor of Business degree (BBus) and an MBA.
AT&T/Mountain Bell/US West
Trujillo began his business career in 1974 as an economic forecaster in the Mountain Bell division of AT&T. At 32, Trujillo was selected State Vice-President, serving as chief executive of Mountain Bell’s operations in New Mexico, making him the youngest officer in the history of AT&T.
Trujillo stepped down as CEO of US West in 2002, following the company's merger with Qwest Communications CEO Joe Nacchio, citing differences in vision between the two. During his time at the company, Trujillo was credited with shifting US West's reputation as the "smallest local phone network" into one focused on high-speed Internet and other technology, such as Voice over IP.
In November 2000, he became chairman and CEO of Graviton, remaining until that startup closed.
At Orange, Trujillo pursued, "an aggressive growth strategy," to combat the large debt load that he inherited. This clashed with the business direction of state-owned France Telecom, Orange's parent, which eventually bought out minority shareholders and absorbed the company.
Trujillo stepped down as CEO of Orange in March 2004, having "accomplished his mandate," and returning to the US. Under his leadership, Orange added five million new customers and grew its revenue profit margins by 10 and 7 percent, respectively.
During the period of Trujillo's tenure, Telstra's share price underperformed the market by around twenty percent, losing over $25 billion in value while customer complaints rose 300 percent. Major factors in the company's share price decline were the global financial crisis of 2008–2009 and being disqualified for submitting a non-compliant bid to the National Broadband Network tender issued by the Rudd Government. In February 2009, Trujillo announced he would stand down as Telstra's CEO and return to the United States. He was replaced as CEO by David Thodey.
Views on Australia
During his time in Australia, media commentators and cartoonists repeatedly made reference to Trujillo's Hispanic background. The group of American executives who were recruited to work at Telstra were referred to, along with Trujillo, as the "Three Amigos." When Trujillo's resignation from Telstra was announced, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd responded with "Adios," which Trujillo described as "racism personified."
After Trujillo's departure from Telstra and Australia, he was quoted in a BBC interview describing doing business in Australia to be like "stepping back in time," referring to the country's "very restrictive" immigration policies and rigid rules on company privatization. Trujillo has since "buried the hatchet" with detractors in Australia and joined a team of directors at Australian mobile phone startup Unlockd.
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- Arnold, Wayne (June 10, 2005). "Ex-Chief of US West to Lead Australian Telephone Giant". The New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- Delaney, Kevin (March 31, 2004). "Orange SA Chief Executive Resigns". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
- AAP (2005-06-09). "Trujillo named as new Telstra CEO". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- Trujillo attacks 'racist' Australia
- Thodey looks beyond the Trujillo legacy
- Carswell, Andrew (2009-12-01). "Telstra's new man to fix woeful service". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-12-01.
- Searching for another Sol Business spectator 22 Jan, 2009
- zdnet article
- The Australian
- O'Sullivan, Matt: Trujillo to leave Telstra in June, The Age, 26 February 2009.
- Bingemann, Mitchell: Sol Trujillo departs for US ahead of schedule, The Australian, 19 May 2009.
- Carswell, Andrew: Business rejects Sol Trujillo's claims of racism in Australia, The Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2009.
- Kruger, Colin (July 19, 2016). "Unlockd: the mobile disrupter that lured Sol Trujillo back to corporate Australia". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Lane, Sabra (May 25, 2009). "Trujillo's parting shot at 'racist, backward' Australia". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved December 16, 2016.