Beautifully engraved certificate from Western Wireless
. This historic document was printed by the Security-Columbian Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette and an underprint of the company logo. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s Chief Executive Officer ( John Stanton ) and Secretary ( Jeffrey A. Christianson ).
Western Wireless was a wireless telecommunications (i.e. cellular) provider in the western United States that specialized in rural service. It was founded by John W. Stanton.
Western Wireless Corporation primarily operated under the Cellular One brand. It had corporate offices in the Factoria area of Bellevue, Washington and Issaquah, WA. The company provided cellular services in 19 western, midwestern, and southwestern states.
Originally, VoiceStream Wireless PCS was a division of Western Wireless which was spun off in 1999. VoiceStream later became T-Mobile USA and is still headquartered in Bellevue, Washington where its former corporate parent was also based.
On January 10, 2005, Little Rock, Arkansas-based telecommunications provider Alltel announced it would buy Western Wireless in a $6 billion stock-and-cash transaction. The merger closed in August 2005.
Below is a summary of the company around the time of the acquisition.
Western Wireless Corporation (NASDAQ:WWCA) was a leading provider of communications services in the Western United States. The company owns and operates wireless phone systems marketed under the Cellular One® national brand name in 19 states west of the Mississippi River. Through the 1st quarter 2002, Western Wireless d/b/a Cellular One® was providing service to 1,159,500 customers.
Western Wireless was formed in July, 1994 through the combination of Pacific Northwest Cellular and General Cellular Corporation. In the last six years, the company has grown from about 320 employees to approximately 2,800 employees. In May 1996 the company completed an initial public offering of 12.65 million shares of common stock and a separate public bond offering. The two offerings together raised nearly $430 million in net proceeds to fund the development of Western Wireless's cellular and other communications businesses.
On May 3, 1999, Western Wireless completed a tax-free distribution (Spin-off) to the Company's shareholders of its 80.1% ownership of VoiceStream Wireless Corporation. The Company's shareholders received one share of VoiceStream common stock for each share of the Company's common stock owned on April 30, 1999.
John Stanton is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Western Wireless. He began his career in the telecommunications industry at Ernst and Whinney Telecommunications Group as a consultant with a primary focus on the cellular and long-distance business.
In 1983, Mr. Stanton joined McCaw Communications as Vice President responsible for instituting McCaw's original entry into the cellular business. Mr. Stanton served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of McCaw Cellular from 1985 to 1988, during which time the company acquired more than 100 businesses and increased its revenues more than $100 million. From 1988-1991 Stanton served as McCaw's Vice Chairman, and he served as a Director of McCaw and LIN Broadcasting until 1994.
In 1988 John Stanton and Theresa Gillespie formed Stanton Communications which invested in businesses in various segments of the communications industry, including cellular, paging, telephone answering, alarm monitoring, voice mail, radio broadcasting and private cable television. Internationally, Stanton Communications was involved in private television in the Soviet Union and cellular service in Hong Kong.
Mr. Stanton founded and became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Northwest Cellular in 1992, which was the nation's eighth-largest independent cellular company. Mr. Stanton was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors for General Cellular Corporation in 1992, when Stanton Communications and Hellman and Friedman acquired a controlling interest in the company. In August 1994, Mr. Stanton and partners merged Pacific Northwest Cellular and General Cellular Corporation to form Western Wireless Corporation.
Mr. Stanton also serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of VoiceStream Wireless, which was spun off from Western Wireless in May 1999. He served as Chairman of Telocator, from 1986 to 1995 and is Chairman Emeritus of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association. In addition, he serves as a board member of Advanced Digital Information Corporation, Columbia Sportswear, Pacific Science Center and as a Trustee of Whitman College. A Seattle native, Mr. Stanton graduated from Whitman College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.