20. Hu Meena, president and CEO, C Spire Wireless – Most Powerful People in Wireless
What makes him powerful: Hu Meena is a cellular guy, through and through. Meena was general manager and vice president of operations and development of Cellular South before becoming president of Cellular South in 1997. During his tenure as chief executive, Cellular South has grown to become the nation's largest privately held wireless communications provider and the eighth largest carrier in the United States. The company now counts 875,000 customers across Mississippi and parts of four other states in the southeast region.
But what's most interesting is Meena's efforts to shepherd the carrier into the new world of 4G and smartphones. Meena in September unveiled a Cellular South rebranding that changes the carrier into C Spire Wireless. Along with the rebranding, C Spire introduced a range of new services including personalized recommendations, rewards, converged offerings and enhanced customer support.
Perhaps more importantly, Meena also managed to score the Apple iPhone 4S. The company out of the blue announced in October that it would soon begin selling the white-hot gadget to its customers--a surprising development in a wireless market where giant carriers like AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel have to date been the only ones to offer the iPhone. Meena managed to leapfrog bigger rivals like Leap Wireless and MetroPCS in obtaining the iPhone.