AT&T's Kris Rinne, senior vice president of network technology for AT&T Labs, will retire at the end of November. AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said that Rinne will be succeeded by Tom Keathley, who has been appointed senior vice president of network and product planning. Keathley will be based in Atlanta and report to Krish Prabu, president of AT&T Labs and chief technology officer of AT&T Services.
Rinne has been instrumental in transforming AT&T's network over the years. During her 38-year career in telecom she has overseen the deployment of many different wireless network technologies from GSM to HSPA and now LTE.
Rinne is extremely well respected at AT&T and in the wireless industry at large. She is the chairperson of the Board of Governors of 4G Americas and is a member of the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance board, which is working on defining 5G. She was named one of the 10 most influential women in wireless by FierceWireless in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Also, in 2014 she was inducted into the Women in Tech Hall of Fame and honored for her contributions to wireless communications.
Rinne also was a 2013 Wireless Hall of Fame inductee. Inductees are selected by an anonymous panel consisting of current Hall of Fame members, which include such wireless industry luminaries as former Qualcomm CEO Irwin Jacobs, Craig McCaw, founder of McCaw Communications, and former AT&T Mobility CEO Stan Sigman.
Interestingly, Rinne never aspired to be a tech leader. When she graduated from college with a degree in math, her life plan was to become a high school math teacher and basketball coach. Instead, a college professor arranged an interview for her with BellSouth, and her destiny was changed forever.
Rinne will be attending Super Mobility Week next week in Las Vegas and will be a panelist at the FierceWireless breakfast panel on Sept. 9 in Las Vegas. The event will be on "The 5G Roadmap: How do we plan for tomorrow's wireless networks?" To register click here.
Kris Rinne, SVP, network technology, AT&T Labs - 2014 Influential Women in Wireless
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