-- Brian Chilson photo
Full crowd scene today at the Statehouse Convention Center for the Clinton School of Public Service speech by Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam.
McAdam played up Verison's commitment to local communities with a short video and presentation. Then he got down to brass tacks: what's the Alltel acquisition going to mean for Little Rock?
McAdam said that while he was limited in what he could divulge given that the deal is working its way through federal channels, he did confirm that Verizon will turn the Alltel campus into their 21st regional headquarters. He said that the call center will stay put as well, and that he hopes grow the center to "well over 1,000 employees" within a year of the merger.
Not all was rosy, however. Said McAdam: "Will everyone who has a job that is there in the campus today? No. I'm not going to stand up here and tell you that. These mergers are built on synergy. Synergies involve eliminating redundancies across an organization. So I'm not going to tell you that. But I will tell you that... if we continue to grow, we will stay on that same kind of trajectory. So there will be a lot of opportuniity. It may not be right here in Little Rock, but I can tell you, we've got the message loud and clear from the senator [Mark Pryor introduced McAdam] and the mayor and everyone we meet that preserving jobs here is important."