- IU South Bend Distinguished Alumni Award (2019)
After graduating from high school, Robert “Bob” Johnson attended one year of college at Tri-State University (now Trine University) and then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. The training he received in the Air Force as a technician maintaining all the communications equipment for air traffic control sparked his interest in telecommunications. Four years later, after his service commitment, Bob was able to use his GI Bill benefits to help pay for his college education and enrolled at IU South Bend, where he majored in marketing and earned his B.S. in Business 1979. He went on to earn a M.S. in Business from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne in 1982.
Bob has been active in the wireless industry since the late ’70s, successfully leading companies of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 100. Bob has served in several executive-level positions at Fortune 500 companies, including president of Sprint’s consumer business, area president and chief customer officer of Frontier Communications, executive vice president for AT&T Wireless, and president of AT&T Aviation Communications. In these roles, he was responsible for marketing, sales distribution, field operations, and customer service. Additionally, Bob has had experience with smaller startup companies as co-founder and chief operating officer of Sotto Wireless, Inc.
Bob’s professional career in telecommunications has allowed him to lead the operations of more than 1,000 retail locations, customer service locations with more than 14,000 representatives, large business sales channels, and an indirect sales channel in excess of 26,000 locations made up of national retailers and regional/local dealers.
Bob is active in his church and community and enjoys traveling in their motor coach, golfing, woodworking, and spending time with family and friends.