Philip S. Jacobs ’73
B.A., Denison University
Citation awarded June, 2007
Phil began his 34-year telecommunications career in BellSouth’s marketing and consumer services organization before being named Marketing Manager for Atlanta in 1979. In 1983, he was named Operations Manager of Strategic Planning in the newly-formed BellSouth Corporation. Moving back to sales in 1984, he was appointed Regional Sales Manager of BellSouth Advanced Systems, where he was responsible for the Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina operations until he was promoted to Vice President.
Phil was elected an officer of the corporation in 1993, assuming control of BellSouth Business Systems, the $4 billion multi-state large business services marketing unit. In 1996, Phil was named Chief Operating Officer of Optus Communications, a local competitive telephone company headquartered in Sydney, Australia. At Optus he was responsible for overseeing all operations of the $3 billion Australian company of which BellSouth owned 24.5%. Upon returning to Atlanta with the sale of Optus in 1998, Phil was named President of Georgia Operations, a position he held until 2005.
He then served as President of the newly formed BellSouth Community Technologies group, leading the development and implementation of BellSouth’s competitive sales and distribution strategy focused on multi-dwelling units. Now, with AT&T-Southeast, he is focusing his considerable skills on regional business customers, including government offices as well as regional healthcare and educational entities.
For his leadership in BellSouth and extensive community involvement, Georgia Trend magazine named Phil the Most Respected CEO in Georgia for 2005. Phil currently serves on Boards for the Georgia Department of Economic Development as Board Chair, the CDC Foundation as Board Chair, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium, the Woodruff Arts Center Board of Trustees and the Georgia Historical Society. He previously served on the Boards of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Smart Start Georgia, the Governor’s Task Force on Tourism, and as Honorary Chairman for the 1998-2001 Empty Stocking Fund Campaigns as well as the 1999-2001 UNCF Corporate Campaign Chair.
For Denison, Phil has served as a Career Advisor, a member of the President’s Leadership Council, and host for the 2006 Atlanta Higher Ground Campaign Kickoff at the Georgia Aquarium.