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Sol Trujillo

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Sol Trujillo
Solomon Trujillo.jpg
Born Solomon Dennis Trujillo
(1951-11-17) November 17, 1951 (age 65)
Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
Nationality American
Occupation Chief executive officer
Employer Previously Telstra
Salary A$11 million including bonuses[1]
Predecessor Ziggy Switkowski
Successor David Thodey

Solomon Dennis "Sol" Trujillo (born November 17, 1951) is an American businessman, global media-communications and technology executive.[2] 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 served as a trade policy advisor to both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.[3]

Early life

Trujillo was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming to Solomon and Theresa (née Lujan) Trujillo.[4] Trujillo attended Cheyenne's East High School and the University of Wyoming, where he earned his Bachelor of Business degree (BBus) and an MBA.[5] In 1973, Trujillo married Corine (née Fresquez) Trujillo and lives with his wife near San Diego, in Dana Point, California.[5]


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.[6] He worked as President, chairman and CEO of US WEST Communications, Inc. from 1995 to 2000. In November 2000, he became chairman and CEO of Graviton,[7] remaining until that startup closed. In 2003, he became CEO of Orange SA, where he had served as a board member since 2001. He held that position until March 2004.[8] He was appointed Chief Executive Officer to Australian telecom giant Telstra Communications on July 1, 2005.[9]

During the period of Trujillo's tenure, Telstra's share price underperformed the market by around twenty percent, losing over $25 billion in value[10][11] while customer complaints rose 300 percent.[12] Major factors in the company's share price decline were the global financial crisis of 2008–2009[13] and being disqualified for submitting a non-compliant bid to the National Broadband Network tender issued by the Rudd Government.[14][15] In February 2009, Trujillo announced he would stand down as Telstra's CEO and return to the United States.[16] He was replaced as CEO by David Thodey.[17]

Views on Australia

After Trujillo left Telstra and Australia, he was quoted in an BBC interview describing Australia as racist, backward and like "stepping back in time". During his time in Australia, media commentators and cartoonists repeatedly made reference to Trujillo's Hispanic background including caricatures of him as a "bandido". The group of American executives who were recruited to work at Telstra were referred to, along with Trujillo, as the "Three Amigos".[18] In the BBC interview, Trujillo cited Australia's "very restrictive" immigration policies and rigid rules on company privatisation as his evidence for the nation being backward and racist. When Trujillo's resignation from Telstra was announced, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd gave an "Adios" response. Trujillo described Mr Rudd's use of the term as "racism personified".[19][20] Trujillo's views on racism in Australia were rejected by some businessmen and political leaders.[20]


  1. ^ "Trujillo's $11m salary is abuse of system - PM". News Limited. 2007-08-10. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  2. ^ "Wilson Center Experts". Wilson Center. Wilson Center. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Solomon Trujillo". StanfordCenter on Longevity. Stanford University. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "Say it isn't Sol - and we won't". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 May 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Lessons of Leadership". LATINO Magazine (Fall 2012). 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Soto, Rose (1995). "NHEA Executive of the Year". Hispanic Professional. 2 (1): 14. 
  7. ^ "Solomon D. Trujillo, Former Head of US West, Named Chief Executive Officer of graviton". Business Wire. November 15, 2000. 
  8. ^ "Sol Trujillo steps down at Orange after successful completion of restructuring plan; Sanjiv Ahuja appointed new CEO". press release. March 30, 2004. Archived from the original on April 13, 2004. 
  9. ^ AAP (2005-06-09). "Trujillo named as new Telstra CEO". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  10. ^ Trujillo attacks 'racist' Australia
  11. ^ Thodey looks beyond the Trujillo legacy
  12. ^ Carswell, Andrew (2009-12-01). "Telstra's new man to fix woeful service". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-12-01. 
  13. ^ Searching for another Sol Business spectator 22 Jan, 2009
  14. ^ zdnet article
  15. ^ The Australian
  16. ^ O'Sullivan, Matt: Trujillo to leave Telstra in June, The Age, 26 February 2009.
  17. ^ Bingemann, Mitchell: Sol Trujillo departs for US ahead of schedule, The Australian, 19 May 2009.
  18. ^
  19. ^ BusinessDay's Gabrielle Costa, Chris Zappone and AAP: Racist, backward: Sol's parting shot, - Business Day, 26 May 2009.
  20. ^ a b Carswell, Andrew: Business rejects Sol Trujillo's claims of racism in Australia, The Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2009.