AT&T Whitacre Award

Whitacre Award recipients demonstrate what’s best about AT&T. These dedicated employees exceed the ordinary. Time and time again, they make personal sacrifices to provide service during extreme situations. Launched in 2007 to honor former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ed Whitacre, this prestigious award demonstrates our unwavering commitment to delivering outstanding service. It’s the highest internal service award AT&T bestows.

2013 Winner: Phil Picard

Phil Picard, AT&T project manager in Construction and Engineering, was honored with the 2013 Whitacre Award for his commitment and innovation helped restore communications to Manhattan and surrounding boroughs after Superstorm Sandy. 

With 8 million people in and around New York City without power, Phil was determined to bring electricity back to the cell towers atop skyskrapers so New Yorkers could contact their loved ones.  Phil and his team pulled hundreds of pounds of electrical wiring up as many as 30 flights of stairs, in the dark, over and over again. Building by building, they brought Manhattan back. 

Thanks to the process he developed, we now have High-Rise Cable Restoration Kits for any future such situations.


Finalists include:

  • Rich Wygonik, network technical specialist in Global Network Field Operations restored service multiple times in inclement weather in Virginia.
  • Tim Vann, a Mobility technician, worked to restore service following the 2013 Colorado wildfires.