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GM hires ex-AT&T lobbyists; Cole to retire


GM hires ex-AT&T lobbyists; Cole to retire

Automotive News | December 30, 2009 – 12:57 pm EST


DETROIT — General Motors Co. today named two former AT&T executives to head its government relations activities.

John Montford will be a senior adviser to GM Chairman Ed Whitacre Jr., who formerly headed AT&T. Robert Ferguson will be GM’s vice president of government relations. Both appointments are effective Friday, Jan. 1.

Montford, 66, will have overall responsibility for government relations and global public policy and will be supported by Ferguson and Michael Robinson, the current vice president of environment, energy and safety policy.

Ken Cole, 62, currently GM’s vice president of government relations and public policy, will be an adviser until his retirement next year.

“John and Bob are proven professionals who have worked in an environment of intense regulatory and political complexity,” Whitacre said in a statement. “I’ve worked with both through a number of issues over the past several years, and they have my deep trust and respect.”

Montford most recently was senior vice president for state legislative affairs for AT&T. Before that he was president of external affairs for Southwestern Bell until its merger with AT&T. He also served 14 years in the Texas Senate and was Texas Tech University’s first chancellor.

Ferguson, 50, was most recently a senior strategist for Public Strategies Inc., a business advisory firm in Austin, Texas. He joined Public Strategies from AT&T, where he had been president of state legislative and regulatory affairs. He has residences in Washington and San Antonio.

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