AT&T Business CEO Anne Chow Leaving Company After 32 Years

Chow, AT&T’s first woman of color CEO, often proclaimed AT&T’s commitment to the channel.

AT&T Business CEO Anne Chow, a 32-year veteran of the carrier and an advocate for the channel, is retiring.

Chow announced her retirement this week on social media. She said she completed her last day of work on Monday.

“After 32 years and two months, the time has come to move onto the next chapter. I’m eternally grateful to all of the people who made the past 3-plus decades significant, memorable, and impactful,” Chow wrote. “I wish I could say thank you to each and every person face-to-face with a hug or a handshake. So… it is not goodbye, rather, it is until we meet again.”

AT&T’s Anne Chow

Chow is a towering figure in AT&T, enterprise technology and diversity, equity and inclusion. She became the first woman to serve as AT&T Business CEO. Moreover, no woman of color before her had held a CEO position at AT&T.

Chow joined AT&T in 1990, after a six-year stint at Bellcore (later known as Telcordia Technologies and Iconectiv). She performed a variety of roles in her first 18 years at Ma Bell. Those duties included network engineering, operations, marketing, direct sales, indirect sales and channel management.

She spent six years leading AT&T’s premier client group for midmarket to enterprise customers.

Her ascension up the ladder in AT&T’s business group led to her becoming president of national business in 2017. That job involved strategy of indirect channel programs for partners like tech services distributors and resellers.

Anne Chow assumed the position of chief executive officer of AT&T Business in 2019. That group featured more than 30,000 employees.

Channel Legacy

Despite her lofty position at AT&T, Chow continued to interface with channel partners and represent them to the larger AT&T business.

The Channel Futures archive shows a 2008 blog post by Ian Kieninger (then GM of CDW) about AT&T’s channel conference. Chow affirmed AT&T’s commitment to the channel in a speech. She has repeated such a message in appearances to partners over the years. She told partners in 2018 that investing more in the channel proves to be a “breakthrough bet.” She admitted that AT&T had previously treated indirect sales as a supplementary strategy.

“Our growth strategy is one which is based on expanding our coverage of the market. We want to do that not just through our direct sales force, but we want to do that through channel partners,” she said at the time.

Other Recognition

Chow has served in a variety of board director roles.

She served on the board of directors for Girl Scouts of the USA. She also spent more than a dozen years on the board of directors for the Asian American Justice Center. In addition, she was a founding board member for the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. She currently serves as lead director for FranklinCovey.

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