John Clendenin, who led BellSouth as president and CEO when Atlanta was home for some of the world’s most globally recognized corporations, died Feb. 25 2020.
Clendenin was named president and CEO of BellSouth in 1984, where he remained until 1996. He served on numerous corporate boards including Home Depot, Kroger, Coca-Cola Enterprises and Equifax, among others. He was also past chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Alliance of Business and was national chairman of Junior Achievement and president of the Atlanta Council of Boy Scouts.
Clendenin was born May 8, 1934, in EI Paso, Texas. He graduated high school in 1951 and attended Swarthmore College before transferring to Northwestern University, where he graduated with honors. It was during this time he married high school sweetheart Ann Matthews.
Clendenin served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command before working for Illinois Bell Telephone Company. He then moved to Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company in Seattle and to AT&T in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, before moving to Atlanta as president of Southern Bell Telephone Company.
* Chairman Emeritus of BellSouth Corporation since December 1997; also served as Chairman from December 1996 to December 1997 and as Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer from 1983 until December 1996. * Director: Equifax Inc., The Home Depot, Inc., The Kroger Company, and Powerwave Technologies, Inc. * Member of the Audit and Governance Committees of the Board. * Has been appointed, effective as of the annual meeting, to complete the term expiring at the Annual Meeting for Fiscal Year 2008.
Clendenin is survived by three children, 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.