The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern trustee and former AT&T executive dies at 57

Madeline Fox, Assistant Campus Editor

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Northwestern trustee and former AT&T global marketing executive Cathy Coughlin (Weinberg ’79) died Thursday from pancreatic cancer.

Coughlin, 57, launched AT&T’s 2013 “It Can Wait” campaign discouraging people from using their phones while driving, which now has the support of more than 1,500 organizations and more than 6 million people who have pledged not to text and drive.

The former executive started her 35-year career in business, marketing and mobile technology at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, which later merged with several other Bell companies to become SBC Communications Inc. The company then bought AT&T and adopted its name.

She was promoted to the top marketing position at AT&T shortly before the company partnered with Apple, Inc. and became the only provider of the iPhone in 2007.

Coughlin served as senior executive vice president and global marketing officer for eight years before stepping down in April, when she was appointed to a position consulting for AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.

Coughlin also served on the boards of the American Film Institute and the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

This story was updated April 27 at 12:14 a.m. for clarity.

Twitter: @MadelineFox14