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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. He currently lives with his wife near San Diego, in Dana Point, California and has three adult daughters.[5]


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.[6]

In 1996, Trujillo was named president of US West. He advanced to president and CEO in 1998, becoming America's fist native-born Latino to serve as CEO of a Fortune 200 company.[7][5]

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.[8]


In November 2000, he became chairman and CEO of Graviton,[9] remaining until that startup closed.

Orange S.A.

After two years as a member of the Orange S.A. board of directors, Trujillo was tapped to serve as CEO of the company in 2003. He was the first American to lead a CAC 40 company.[5]

At Orange, Trujillo pursued, "an aggressive growth strategy," to combat the large debt load that he inherited.[10][11] This clashed with the business direction of state-owned France Telecom, Orange's parent, which eventually bought out minority shareholders and absorbed the company.[12]

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.[12]


Trujillo was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Telstra Communications, Australia's largest telecommunications and media company, on July 1, 2005.[13] Amid news of his appointment, The Economist named the position "Australia's toughest corporate job," as Trujillo's mandate was to prepare the state-owned firm for Australia's largest public offering in history.[14] The firm, formerly Telecom Australia, was originally state-owned, but saw a minority stake sold off between 1997 and 1999. At the time of his appointment, Telstra's share price had underperformed due to poorly-calculated bids during the tenure of the firm's previous CEO, Ziggy Switkowski, including the purchase of Hong Kong mobile communications operator CSL and the attempted purchase of John Fairfax Holdings, a large Australian newspaper.[14]

During the period of Trujillo's tenure, Telstra's share price underperformed the market by around twenty percent, losing over $25 billion in value[15][16] while customer complaints rose 300 percent.[17] Major factors in the company's share price decline were the global financial crisis of 2008–2009[18] and being disqualified for submitting a non-compliant bid to the National Broadband Network tender issued by the Rudd Government.[19][20] In February 2009, Trujillo announced he would stand down as Telstra's CEO and return to the United States.[21] He was replaced as CEO by David Thodey.[22]

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."[23] When Trujillo's resignation from Telstra was announced, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd responded with "Adios," which Trujillo described as "racism personified."[24]

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.[25][26] Trujillo has since "buried the hatchet" with detractors in Australia and joined a team of directors at Australian mobile phone startup Unlockd.[25]


  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 c d "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. ^ Cisneros, Henry (March 13, 2016). "How Latinos power the American economy". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  8. ^ Borland, John (January 2, 2002). "US West CEO Trujillo to resign". CNET. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Solomon D. Trujillo, Former Head of US West, Named Chief Executive Officer of graviton". Business Wire. November 15, 2000. 
  10. ^ Delaney, Kevin (February 14, 2003). "Orange Hands Top Job To Trujillo Amid Turmoil". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  11. ^ Arnold, Wayne (June 10, 2005). "Ex-Chief of US West to Lead Australian Telephone Giant". The New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Delaney, Kevin (March 31, 2004). "Orange SA Chief Executive Resigns". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  13. ^ AAP (2005-06-09). "Trujillo named as new Telstra CEO". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  14. ^ a b "A wise move?". The Economist. June 23, 2003. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  15. ^ Trujillo attacks 'racist' Australia
  16. ^ Thodey looks beyond the Trujillo legacy
  17. ^ Carswell, Andrew (2009-12-01). "Telstra's new man to fix woeful service". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-12-01. 
  18. ^ Searching for another Sol Business spectator 22 Jan, 2009
  19. ^ zdnet article
  20. ^ The Australian
  21. ^ O'Sullivan, Matt: Trujillo to leave Telstra in June, The Age, 26 February 2009.
  22. ^ Bingemann, Mitchell: Sol Trujillo departs for US ahead of schedule, The Australian, 19 May 2009.
  23. ^
  24. ^ Carswell, Andrew: Business rejects Sol Trujillo's claims of racism in Australia, The Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2009.
  25. ^ a b Kruger, Colin (July 19, 2016). "Unlockd: the mobile disrupter that lured Sol Trujillo back to corporate Australia". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  26. ^ Lane, Sabra (May 25, 2009). "Trujillo's parting shot at 'racist, backward' Australia". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved December 16, 2016.