AT&T'S SECOND-CHANCE CEO

HUGHES ELECTRONICS BOSS C. MICHAEL ARMSTRONG TAKES THE TOP JOB A YEAR AFTER TURNING IT DOWN

If a printer can't run AT&T, perhaps a defense contractor can. Using that logic, directors of the phone giant last week handed the top job to C. Michael Armstrong, 59, chairman of Hughes Electronics, ending one of the most embarrassing corporate head hunts in recent memory. The board tapped Armstrong three months after disconnecting AT&T president John Walter as the designated successor to the embattled Robert Allen, 62, who is stepping down as chairman and CEO. Directors said Walter, who was plucked from printer R.R. Donnelley & Sons last year, lacked the "intellectual leadership" to head the seventh largest U.S. company.

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