AT&T Mexico CEO to head global operations

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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AT&T appoints Thaddeus Arroyo to head international and business operations as Ralph de la Vega announces retirement on 31 December

Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Mexico, will take over at the group’s head of international and business operations on 1 January following the retirement of Ralph de la Vega

Arroyo has been with the AT&T group and its predecessors since 2001, when he was appointed CIO of Cingular Wireless, a mobile operator part-owned by Bell South, which merged with the old AT&T 10 years ago and adopted the name.

A California-born mathematician and computer scientist, he moved to Mexico City at the start of 2015, following AT&T’s purchase of Iusacell and Nextel, wireless operations that it turned into AT&T Mexico.

He has spent two years integrating Iusacell and Nextel’s networks and upgrading them to 4G – essentially following what de la Vega did north of the border. The US and Mexican networks now operate seamlessly, de la Vega told Global Telecoms Business earlier this year. And he admitted in the same interview that AT&T Mexico uses Huawei kit. 

Arroyo will now run AT&T’s international carrier business and its enterprise operations from Dallas, the group’s headquarters.

De la Vega’s retirement, leaked yesterday, came as a surprise to the industry. Born in Cuba 65 years ago, he moved to the US with his family in 1962 and has spent all of his 42-year career in what become AT&T. He was chief operating officer of Cingular Wireless and in 2004 led its merger with AT&T Wireless – then an independently quoted company.

Later on he negotiated an exclusive deal with Apple to launch the iPhone on the AT&T network in the US. He was one of the only people in the world outside Apple who saw the iPhone before it was launched.

The new CEO of AT&T Mexico will be Kelly King, now senior VP of AT&T’s business group.