Lea Ann Champion

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Senior EVP, IP Operations and Services, AT&T INC.

WHY WE’RE WATCHING: We’ll have plenty of company: Executives across cable, direct-broadcast satellite, telecom, programming and Wall Street will also keep their eyes on Champion, who is championing AT&T’s controlled market entry of Internet protocol TV and high-speed Internet services in San Antonio. Success will lead to a scaled launch there and beyond.

HIGH ’05s: “I lead the team responsible for implementation of AT&T Project Lightspeed, our initiative to expand the fiber-optics network deeper into neighborhoods to deliver AT&T U-verse TV, high-speed Internet access and, eventually, voice-over-IP services. We developed the initiative from concept to reality in just over a year. Last fall, we conducted expanded technical field trials in San Antonio employee homes for both IPTV and high-speed Internet access. We started connecting subscribers to AT&T U-verse TV and AT&T Yahoo High Speed Internet in December.”

PICKS IN ’06: “During the first half, we will conduct our controlled market entry in San Antonio with a limited number of subscribers. Success will lead to a scaled launch in mid-year, when we plan to expand to additional markets and add new features. During the scaled launch, we will increase the number of channels and video-on-demand titles, offer high-definition channels, and introduce whole-home digital recording functionality.”

MY TIME: “I spend time with my husband and our two teenage daughters. I have also been an active participant in the United Way and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.”