A few people have asked me to post a little more information about myself. If you want to see my corporate bio, check out my LinkedIn profile. You can also check out my Flickr pictures (includes both business and personal pictures).
I grew up in California and Surrey, England. I started college at U.C. Berkeley, and transferred to Claremont McKenna, a tiny college located near Los Angeles, after my freshman year. I majored in economics. I went straight from college to law school at Stanford in 1992, and graduated in 1995.
I spent a few years as a corporate attorney at O’Melveny & Myers and Wilson Sonsini, working exclusively with technology companies. My clients included idealab, Netscape, Pixar, Apple and a bunch of startups, venture funds and investment banks.
The late nineties were heady days in Silicon Valley – at any given time I was working on a number of IPOs, venture financings, and merger transactions. I also co-authored a book on IPOs while I was working at Wilson Sonsini, which is still in print (on its second edition) by Bowne. I worked all the time.
I left law firm life to join a hot startup and run sales and business development. The startup, RealNames, filed to go public but didn’t make it out before the bubble burst. Eventually, RealNames liquidated after raising over $100 million in venture capital. I left that startup as it was going through the IPO process and co-founded a company called Achex. We raised nearly $20 million after the bubble burst and sold the company to First Data Corp about a year later for $32 million. Achex is now the back end infrastructure to Western Union online.
I’ve worked in an operational role at a Carlyle backed startup in London, founded and ran two companies in Canada (Zip.ca and Pool.com), was COO to a Kleiner backed company called Razorgator, and consulted to other companies, including SnapNames and Verisign. In addition to TechCrunch, I am a founder of edgeio and a member of the edgeio board of directors.
Ralph de la Vega, CEO-AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, was named to his current role in September 2008. Today, he leads all consumer marketing, sales, content and converged services, customer care and operations for wireless and wired.
Previously, he served as President and CEO-AT&T Mobility where he was responsible for all of AT&T’s wireless business since October 2007.
Prior to that, he served as group president-Regional Telecommunications and Entertainment, with responsibility for overall leadership in regional wired, including consumer, regional business sales and network. He was appointed to that post in January 2007, after the close of the AT&T-BellSouth merger, which consolidated ownership of Cingular.
From 2004-2006, de la Vega served as chief operating officer of Cingular Wireless, with responsibility for technology planning, network operations, marketing, sales and customer care.
Before joining Cingular in January 2004, he served as president-BellSouth Latin America, with overall responsibility for BellSouth’s operations in 11 countries: Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Nicaragua, Brazil and Guatemala.
He also has served as BellSouth’s president of Broadband and Internet Services. In this position, he had overall responsibility for the deployment, marketing and operations of broadband services. In addition, he had responsibility for BellSouth Internet Services and BellSouth’s rapidly growing data support groups.
Mr. de la Vega started his career in 1974 with BellSouth (then Southern Bell) as a management assistant. He has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility in Network Planning, Consumer Services, Engineering and Operations — including a rotational assignment at Telcordia (Bellcore) — and was responsible for all BellSouth Telecommunications Network Operations in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Mr. de la Vega’s involvement with the community is extensive. He is a member of the Board of Directors of both Junior Achievement Worldwide and the Boy Scouts of America. He plays a leadership role in helping both organizations recruit Hispanic youth. He recently was inducted into the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s prestigious Alumni Hall of Fame which honors select Hispanics for their personal achievements, contributions and service to America.
A native of Cuba, he holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Florida Atlantic University and a master’s degree in business administration from Northern Illinois University, and he has completed the Executive Program at the University of Virginia.
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