THEN: Roy A. Wilkens was president of Williams Telecommunications Co. (WilTel) in 1987 and was beginning to be vindicated for his gutsy decision — as president of Williams Pipeline Co. — to use the company’s gas rights of way for fiber-optic telecommunications. The company would do a brisk business in wholesale capacity and would be sold in 1995 to LDDS (MCI/WorldCom).
NOW: Wilkens is retired, sort of. He serves as honorary chairman of the board of a new company called Adaptation Technologies, which is run by his two sons and provides hosted VoIP services. In the intervening years, he retired as vice chairman of MCI/WorldCom and, among many roles, sat on the board of the reborn as Williams Communications (renamed WilTel in 2002), which was sold to Level 3 in 2005.