American Tower’s announcement yesterday that Jim Taiclet will leave American Tower caught some industry observers by surprise, but to those who knew Taiclet’s strong military background, the move made sense. He will take over as President and CEO of Lockheed Martin. Taiclet began his career as a United States Air Force officer and pilot and served a tour of duty in the Gulf War. He holds a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University, where he was awarded a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson School and is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with degrees in engineering and international relations.
“As a military veteran, I understand the mission of this great company to provide global security and innovative solutions for the brave men and women who protect our freedom,” said Taiclet.
“I thank Jim profoundly for his nearly 20 years of leadership to the industry, including his stint as Chairman of PCIA, as WIA was called at the time,” said WIA President/CEO Jonathan Adelstein. “His vision moved wireless infrastructure forward around the globe. We wish him continued success in his major new role. I also congratulate Tom on becoming CEO, who will do a terrific job building on the tremendous success started by Jim. Tom has been with us at WIA since he began at American Tower, and we look forward to working with him and his team on industry priorities to keep the industry growing and meeting the challenges ahead.”
Thomas Bartlett, taking over for Taiclet at the top spot, has served as American Tower’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for over ten years, joining the company from Verizon Communications, Inc. in April 2009, after 25 years. During Bartlett’s tenure and leadership, American Tower’s total revenues have grown by 375 percent and its enterprise value has expanded to $128 billion from $16 billion. Rod Smith, the company’s current Senior Vice President, Corporate Finance and Treasurer will become the new Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Smith has been with the company for more than ten years, including serving as Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Tower Division.
Taiclet joined American Tower in 2001, as President and Chief Operating Officer and became its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman in 2003, succeeding company founder Steven Dodge. Taiclet will continue as Executive Chairman until the company’s 2020 annual meeting. After that, Pamela Reeve, American Tower’s current lead independent director, will become non-executive Chair of the Board, subject to her re-election as a director at the annual meeting.