Joe T. Ford began his career in telecommunications at Allied Telephone Company in 1959 as a yellow pages salesman.
He served in a number of executive positions before becoming Allied president in 1977. When Allied merged with Mid-Continent Telephone Corporation in 1983 to form Alltel Corporation, he was named Alltel’s president.
Ford became CEO in 1987 and chairman of the board in 1991. Ford led Alltel Corporation through one of the most intense eras of change in telecommunications, including deregulation of the telephone industry and the growth of wireless communications. He retired as CEO in 2002, and as Chairman in 2007.