Distinguished Alumni, Hall of Fame 2015
John S. Mayo
The distinguished career of this outstanding alumnus is marked with significant contributions to the development of electronics. He joined Bell Laboratories in 1955, where he worked on early computers, including the TRADIC and Leprechaun, the Telstar satellite, ocean sonar systems, and various switching systems. he held several key positions and became Vice President of Electronics Technology in 1975 before becoming the company's seventh president in 1991. Credited with globalizing Bell Labs and forging closer ties between its research and development and its business units, he served in that role until his retirement in 1995.
He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State in 1952, 1953, and 1955, respectively.
Notable among his career achievements are his work on the command decoder and switching unit for the Telstar Communications Satellite and his involvement in developing methods for transmitting picturephone signals. As the executive of the Ocean Systems Division during 1971-1973, he directed the development of electronic systems for use in the ocean. As Executive Director of the Toll Electronic Switching Division during 1973-75, he was responsible for the first electronic system to switch long distance telephone calls. Among his current responsibilities is that of directing the design and development of efficient, low-cost, high-reliability electronics components and associated technologies for use in the telecommunications industry. He holds 12 patents and is the author of numerous technical papers.