Business, Success and the iPhone


Two influential business leaders, both with ties to the Darden School of Business, discussed a wide range of topics including goal setting, making the most of mistakes, and getting the iPhone to the marketplace.

President and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets Ralph de la Vega and Managing Director of North America for Accenture Walt Shill (MBA ’86), took part in a discussion on the Abbott Auditorium stage yesterday.

Some of the discussion dealt with Mr. de la Vega’s life. He fled Cuba in 1962 and came to the United States alone, when he was just ten years old. It wasn’t until four years later that his parents and sister were able to join him in south Florida. He is now known as one of the people who negotiated the deal between AT&T and Apple that led to the iPhone.

“After experiencing what I did as a young boy, a merger is easy,” said Mr. de la Vega to the delight of the audience. “Our obstacles make us stronger and better so don’t shy away from them.”

Shill served the role of interviewer during the entertaining event. The two men talked for one hour about business, success, and the way wireless communication is changing the world. To view a video of the event: . To listen to an audio podcast:

Shill earned his MBA from Darden in 1986. Mr. de la Vega completed The Executive Program at Darden in 1996.

Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business improves society by developing principled leaders in the world of practical affairs.

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