In 1926, Donald C. Power was admitted to the Ohio Bar specializing in public utility law and subsequently became general counsel for Ohio Associated Telephone Company. He left private practice in 1951 to become president and chief executive officer of General Telephone Corporation, renamed General Telephone & Electronics Corporation in 1959. Power brought an entirely new point of view to General Telephone, believing the telephone industry could participate in the future of expansion of the nation’s economy. He gained public recognition of General Telephone by renaming all operating subsidiaries with designations starting with “General Telephone.”
Power was acutely aware of the importance of seeking rate increases to achieve a fair return on invested capital and he took an aggressive stance in achieving for operating companies a larger share of revenues derived from long-distance services provided jointly with the Bell System. The greatly increased rate case and toll separations activities of the General Telephone operating companies not only benefitted the companies themselves but also achieved greater recognition and appreciation of the overall Independent industry from the general public and financial community. Recognition by the financial community was important because of General Telephone’s and the entire industry’s increasing financial requirements to meet the demands for expanded and improved service.
Donald Power served as chairman and chief executive officer of General Telephone & Electronics Corporation, 1959-1966; chairman, 1966-1971; and director, 1971-1972. He served as director of USITA, 1951-1958; president, 1956-1957; and member of the executive committee, 1951-1954 and 1956-1958. He died in 1979.