Our vision of connecting people also shapes our role as a corporate citizen. For us, corporate citizenship begins with investing in our own employees. We're proud to work with unions like the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to create and preserve jobs that pay well and have good benefits and ample opportunities for training and advancement.
We also work hard to strengthen our communities and help sustain the world we all share. Going forward, we'll be placing an even sharper focus on supporting education and workforce readiness. Alarming high school dropout rates in the United States threaten the nation's economic vitality. As America's parents, teachers, administrators and community leaders continue to do their part, we believe that it's important for businesses to step up, too. And we will.
This couldn't be a more exciting time to lead our company, as we move forward in an environment in which our scale, resources and commitment to financial discipline are critical strengths.
It's an environment that puts a premium on having an outstanding employee team. AT&T is led by proven executives with broad, diverse operational experience. They are the industry's best, and together we are honored to lead the more than 300,000 talented men and women who are the heart and hands of our company.
In June 2007, Edward E. Whitacre Jr. retired after serving as our company's chairman and chief executive officer for more than 17 years. Ed Whitacre led our company with great integrity, vision and wisdom. As the architect of the new AT&T, he transformed our business and, in the process, an entire industry. On behalf of our Board of Directors and employees, we thank Ed for his many contributions.
Most of all, I want to thank you, our stockholders, for your confidence. We have rich opportunities ahead of us — and I look forward to reporting to you on our continuing progress. There's much, much more to come.
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President
February 8, 2008