Jack MacAllister, 50BSC, has risen to occupy one of the top jobs in the communications industry. As chairman of the board and chief executive officer of US West, Inc., the parent company of Northwestern Bell Telephone, MacAllister has earned a reputation as an exceptionally talented and highly skilled business professional. What's more, he has that rare and important ability to show his care and concern for his employees, while still keeping an eye on the bottom line.
With a service area covering one-third of the continental United States, US West has been singled out by numerous business publications as the best managed and most aggressive of the seven Bell holding companies created by the AT&T divestiture action in 1984. In its two years of operation, US West demonstrated its boldness and competitive spirit—trademarks of Jack MacAllister—by being the first to persuade half of the states in which it does business to deregulate pay telephones and cellular mobile phones.
Jack MacAllister's career at Northwestern Bell is a true success story. He joined the Bell System in 1950 as an underground cable installer and by 1961 had risen to the position of plant manager. He held a number of assignments in Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska before being transferred to AT&T in New York. He returned to Omaha in 1967 and held several vice presidential assignments before being named president of Northwestern Bell in 1975. MacAllister was designated chief executive officer of US West in May 1982, and he was named chairman of the board and chief executive officer in July 1986.
Jack MacAllister's leadership throughout the difficult transition years—during the deregulation of the telecommunications industry and during the period when major technological changes were introduced—has been hailed by his colleagues as "nothing short of brilliant." In the late 1970s, MacAllister took a leadership role in restructuring Bell operating companies to accommodate changes in the marketplace and in technology.
Despite his many executive responsibilities, Jack MacAllister has remained a loyal and staunch supporter of the University of Iowa, serving his alma mater in a variety of roles. A member of the University of Iowa Foundation Board of Directors, he was instrumental in the success of Hawkeye Arena/Recreation Campaign and the Iowa Hall Museum of Natural History Campaign. Currently, he is a volunteer on the Foundation's $150 million capital campaign, Iowa Endowment 2000: A Covenant with Quality.