CHARLES R. LEE WILL SUCCEED JAMES L. JOHNSON AS CHAIRMAN AND
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF GTE ON MAY 1, 1992
STAMFORD, Conn., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Charles R. Lee has been elected by GTE's board of directors to succeed James L. "Rocky" Johnson as chairman and chief executive officer upon his retirement at age 65, effective May 1, 1992. Johnson will remain on the GTE board of directors as chairman emeritus.
Lee, 51, has served as president and chief operating officer of the corporation since December 1988. No action by the board was taken to name a president and chief operating officer when Lee assumes his new role.
"It was my recommendation, and the board voted unanimously, to have Chuck succeed me as chairman and chief executive officer," said Johnson. "This action will ensure a smooth succession and transition in GTE's leadership and growth to best serve the interests of our customers, shareholders and employees.
"Having worked with Chuck as my president for three years and as GTE's senior financial officer for five years before that, I can personally attest to his enormous contribution to GTE and his leadership of our excellent management team. He will be a great chairman and chief executive officer," stated Johnson.
"It is a real honor to be selected to succeed Rocky Johnson and serve this great corporation as its chairman and chief executive officer," Lee said. "We are all extremely pleased that Rocky has agreed to remain on the board as chairman emeritus, which is an honor and distinction he has truly earned over his 43 years of service with GTE. His long-time leadership of both GTE and the telecommunications industry make his continuing advice and counsel to us invaluable," said Lee.
Lee Will Continue Johnson's Agenda.
"I plan to continue the excellent record Rocky and our management team have achieved over these past three years, a record that continues to improve GTE's competitive position and sets us apart from our competition in terms of performance, scope of operations and future opportunities," Lee continued. "We have molded a dynamic company that will remain focused on its telecommunications businesses and committed to enhancing profitability and profitable growth in the years to come," he stated.
Under Johnson's leadership, GTE completed the largest merger in telecommunications history with Contel Corp. GTE also initiated the restructuring of its Telephone Operations group by centralizing its headquarters staff and consolidating its telephone companies. Also, since 1988, GTE has acquired Providence Journal's cellular-mobile telephone properties and successfully bid for management control of CANTV, the Venezuelan telephone company.
In addition, Johnson divested GTE of its majority interest in US Sprint and formed a joint venture with AT&T for its switching business. Other significant changes that both Johnson and Lee initiated were to focus GTE on its largest core business, telecommunications, and to consider alternatives for its lighting and precision materials businesses.
During this period, the company also increased productivity and quality results, and reorganized and streamlined all of its operations. GTE also increased its dividend by 27 percent; sales climbed from $15.4 billion to $21.4 billion; and, net income grew from $1.1 billion to $1.7 billion. GTE is now the largest U.S.-based local-telephone company and the second-largest cellular-mobile company.
"With the help of our many dedicated and talented employees, I am confident GTE will continue to be one of the world's leading corporations in terms of public recognition, customer satisfaction and shareholder return," said the chairman-elect.
Background on Lee.
Lee joined GTE from Columbia Pictures Industries Inc., where he was senior vice president-finance from 1980 to 1983. Prior to joining Columbia Pictures, he served as senior vice president-finance for Penn Central Corp. and in other financial management positions with that company and its subsidiaries beginning in 1971. He began his business career with United States Steel Corp. in 1964, and served in a number of financial and management positions with that company until 1971.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Lee received a bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering from Cornell University in 1962 and a master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1964.
Lee is a Director of Contel Cellular, The Travelers, MGIC Investment Corp. and USX Corp. He is a member of the Stanwich Club and the Financial Executives Institute. He is the chair of the New American Realities Committee of the National Planning Association and also serves on its board of trustees. He is a Trustee Fellow of Cornell University. He and his wife, Ilda, have five children.
GTE is a worldwide leader in telecommunications, with combined revenues and sales in 1990 of $21.4 billion and net income of $1.7 billion. It is the largest U.S.-based local-telephone company and the second-largest cellular-service provider in the United States. Other GTE subsidiaries are leaders in government and defense communication systems and equipment, satellite-based telecommunications, information services, lighting products and precision materials.
/CONTACT: Harvey W. Greisman, vice president-corporate public affairs of GTE, 203-965-2903, (After 6 p.m. 203-226-7661)/
(GTE) CO: GTE Corporation ST: Connecticut IN: TLS SU: PER SH -- NY014 -- 1817 12/12/91 09:39 EST