Sam Ginn’s leadership and vision changed the trajectory of the wireless industry. After taking the helm of Pacific Telesis in 1988, he turned the company around through diversification and an aggressive push to build the nation’s largest cellular phone business. Through growth, mergers and acquisitions, he expanded PacTel’s wireless business far beyond its regional footprint to markets across the U.S. He engineered the spinoff of PacTel’s wireless assets into the pure wireless company AirTouch Communications, and in a surprising move for a Bell company executive, assumed leadership of the new venture. Throughout the 1980’s Airtouch grew its footprint across the United States roughly from the west coast to the east coast. He saw the opportunity for explosive global growth, and formed AirTouch International in 1988. By the time of the merger with Vodafone in 2000 Airtouch International had established systems in 14 nations on four continents. In the 55 months following its IPO, Airtouch grew from a market value of $10 billion to $65 billion, or about $1 billion per month. In 1999, AirTouch merged with the UK-based Vodafone Group to form Vodafone AirTouch PLC, with Sam Ginn as the founding Chairman. Later that year, Vodafone combined its U.S. properties will Bell Atlantic to form Verizon Wireless. In 2012, he was appointed as initial chairman of FirstNet, charged with deploying a nationwide broadband wireless network dedicated to public safety. Its purpose is to dramatically improve first responders’ ability to react to public emergencies. FirstNet when deployed is likely to cover more geographical area than any existing commercial system.