Indianapolis native Bill Soards, who has been president of AT&T’s operations in Colorado for the past four years, is returning to Indiana to take over the same position, the company said Thursday.
Soards will replace George Fleetwood, who stepped down Sept. 1 after 13 years at the helm of ATT’s Indiana operations. The move is effective Nov. 1.
A Butler University graduate, Soards served on the Indianapolis City-County Council from 1999 to 2003, starting at age 25, and was a member of the Boone County Council from 2004 to 2009.
Prior to joining AT&T in 2000 as director of government relations for AT&T Indiana, Soards was a partner at Livengood Soards & Associates in Indianapolis, where he worked in public policy.
At AT&T Indiana, he helped lead the effort behind the 2006 Indiana Telecom Reform Act. The act deregulated the state's telecommunications industry and established a statewide system for cable franchising.
Soards is expected to lead AT&T’s legislative, regulatory and community affairs activities in Indiana. AT&T recently announced that it invested more than $325 million in its Indiana wireless and wired networks in the first half of 2013.
“I’m deeply honored by this opportunity to lead Indiana’s great team of AT&T employees,” Soards said in a prepared statement. “My passion and interest have always been where public policy and technology intersect, and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to work in my home state again.”