Although she's only been on the job a little more than six weeks, U.S. Cellular's new CEO Mary Dillon appears to have the hard-charging attitude necessary to lead this Tier 2 operator in the intensely competitive wireless industry. As the only female CEO of a U.S. wireless carrier (she is a former McDonald's, PepsiCo and Quaker Foods executive), Dillon plans to use her expertise in understanding and driving consumer loyalty to help take U.S. Cellular to the next level.
Dillon has already garnered the respect of many U.S. Cellular employees--in her first week on the job she visited U.S. Cellular retail stores in Chicago, traveled to a call center in Knoxville, Tenn., and toured a cell site with a technician. Now she is getting the respect of the consumer. Just last week U.S. Cellular teamed with TeleNav to bring turn-by-turn navigation to the carrier's smartphones. But unlike the Tier 1 operators that offer the same service for $9.99 per month, U.S. Cellular is offering TeleNav's service for free to all consumers that already have a $30 per month smartphone data plan. We think this type of innovating pricing and bundling of services will serve U.S. Cellular well in the future.