Friday, July 29, 2005

Corporate Icons...and longevity.

My first post is on a somewhat poignant note. The Economist, in its Feb 17th 2005 issue stated that Verizon’s buyout of MCI will result in a combined firm with sales of $90 billion. A couple of issues earlier the same magazine, in its superbly written article on AT&T’s changing fortunes had declared that the SBC-AT&T merger, with combined revenues of $70 billion, “creates America's largest telecoms firm”. Looks like SBC got to rejoice for a whole two weeks.

More soberingly, this brings home the increasing rapidity with which things change in the technology industry – AT&T’s reign as the big boy on the block had lasted several decades during the last century.

Another fallout from the imminent (?) demise of AT&T as an independent firm is the loss of a corporate icon - one of America’s greatest and most enduring. For that reason at least, let us hope that SBC-AT&T decides to badge itself as AT&T. Otherwise, AT&T will join a list of hallowed technology names that are now mere memories – Digital, Sperry, Burroughs, Compaq,… The high-tech industry sure is no place to be sentimental.