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Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility, Explains the Importance of Corporate Culture in Merging Two Companies on The CEO TV Show with Robert Reiss

On The CEO TV Show with Robert Reiss this week, Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility, explains the importance of corporate culture, particularly concerning the merger between AT&T Wireless and Cingular Wireless' merger. De la Vega also addresses issues such as the role of the leader in a merger and his views on overcoming obstacles which some consider impossible.

Ridgefield, CT, December 02, 2011 --( On The CEO TV Show with Robert Reiss this week, Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility, explains the importance of corporate culture particularly concerning the merger between AT&T Wireless and Cingular Wireless' merger. The merger, after regulatory delays, gave both companies a mere 19 days to integrate and unite the new company into one. What were the keys? Particularly how important was "corporate culture?"

"Corporate culture is extremely important," De la Vega explained. "It defines the company. It sets the moral compass of the organization to help the employees know what is acceptable and not within that company."

Then Reiss asks about the role of the leader in the merger. De la Vega replies, "The role of the leader is to help people understand how to overcome obstacles and take the business to the next level. The leader must embody the corporate culture so his employees have confidence that those obstacles can be overcome."

Then Reiss inquires about where in the process that corporate culture played a significant role for de la Vega. De la Vega responds, "When we merged AT&T Wireless with Cingular wireless in 2004, we had only 19 days after the FCC made its decision to accomplish it. This was a $41 billion merger, the largest up to that time and roughly 60,000 employees. None of the analysts thought this would be possible without losing a lot of customers. The cultures of the two companies, too, were different: AT&T was more centralized in their decision-making whereas Cingular was more de-centralized. So we got all of the senior executives into a meeting to determine what the guiding principles and corporate culture would be after the merger, that is, of the new company. When we all got aligned on what these things would be, we went out and complete the merger beyond anyone's wildest of dreams. We actually surpassed by far the best case scenario of the analysts and added more customers in the next quarter than ever!"

De la Vega, who faced several obstacles in his life growing up, including being sent to Florida from his native Cuba without his parents for four years, remains an incurable optimist. His auto-biography, "Obstacles Welcome!" details how he believes facing and overcoming obstacles is what strengthens a person, and has made America the most dynamic economy in the world.

Does he think that anything is impossible? "I'm sure there are some things that truly are impossible," he states, "But most things, with the right people, the right attitude, and the right imagination are always possible. Remember, everyone thought flying was impossible from the dawn of man until the Wright brothers proved them wrong. And within 100 years we put a man on the moon and a lander on Mars! So I believe almost everything is possible. That's the challenge!"

To view this exclusive interview with Ralph de la Vega, go to


The CEO TV Show, a service of The CEO Show (, is a weekly program based on a series of video interviews with top CEOs who have changed the fabric of American society hosted by Robert Reiss. In addition to being available at the website above, it is also hosted on a number of affiliate websites, including ACG New York, Vistage, Small Giants, Senn Delaney, NAFE and others.

For more information, contact: Patric Hale, General Manager, "The CEO Show,";;
(914) 441.4512
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