Tom Tauke Named Acting Executive Vice President Of External Affairs and Corporate Communications

Tom Tauke Named Acting Executive Vice President Of External Affairs and Corporate Communications

Succeeds Toby Webb in Assignment Until Completion of Bell Atlantic/GTE Merger

December 8, 1999


Susan Kraus, Bell Atlantic,

NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic announced today that Thomas J. Tauke, senior vice president - Government Relations, has been named acting executive vice president- External Affairs and Corporate Communications, to succeed Morrison DeS. (Toby)Webb, whose plan to leave Bell Atlantic was announced last month.

Tauke will serve in this capacity until the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, which the companies anticipate around the end of the first quarter 2000.Tauke's appointment is effective Dec. 13; Webb will be on special assignment toIvan Seidenberg, chairman and chief executive officer, until Dec. 31.

Since 1991, Tauke, a former congressman, has led the Washington, D.C., operations of first NYNEX and then Bell Atlantic. In that capacity, he has overseen all relationships with the U.S. government in the Executive branch, the Congress and at various government agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission. He also has responsibility for international government affairs.

This year, Tauke was elected chairman of USTA, the U S Telecom Association-- a position he will continue to hold. In his new role at Bell Atlantic, he will retain his current duties and assume additional responsibility for state government affairs and regulatory matters, community relations,
employee communications, media relations, corporate reputation management, and Bell Atlantic's philanthropic activities.

A litigation associate before beginning his career in telecommunications as an attorney for New England Telephone in 1980, Webb had been vice president - general counsel for New York and New England Telephone, as well as vice president - NYNEX Government Affairs. He was executive vice president, General Counsel and Secretary of NYNEX prior to the Bell Atlantic merger.

"After announcing that I would seek other career opportunities, planning for the next chapter in my life accelerated," Webb said. "I advanced my original departure timetable, recognizing that Tom Tauke was in place and could readily pick up my duties."

Seidenberg praised both officers: "Toby has been a trusted advisor to me, and he has made great contributions to our business over his 20-year career. And Tom has brought us wisdom and experience in the Government Affairs arena that have set Bell Atlantic apart in our industry. I'm very pleased that he can bring his skills to a broader part of our work."

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines and more than 10 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world.