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WorldCom Chronology

Key dates in WorldCom's history.

InformationWeek Staff

November 15, 2002

3 Min Read

Important dates in the history of WorldCom Inc.:

--1983: At a Hattiesburg, Miss., coffee shop, Bernie Ebbers, Bill Fields, David Singleton and Murray Waldron work out details for starting LDDS, or Long Distance Discount Service. The company name is suggested by a waitress.

--1984: LDDS sells its first minute of long distance to the University of Southern Mississippi.

--1988-94: LDDS acquires more than a half-dozen communications companies and expands its reach throughout the United States.

--1994: LDDS acquires IDB WorldCom, an international company.

--1995: LDDS changes its name to WorldCom Inc. with Ebbers as CEO.

--1996: WorldCom Inc. acquires UUNet Technologies Inc. through merger.

--Nov. 10, 1997: WorldCom and MCI announce $37 billion merger.

--1998: WorldCom acquires Brooks Fiber Properties and CompuServe.

--June 21, 1999: WorldCom stock peaks at $64.50.

--Oct. 5, 1999: WorldCom and Sprint announce a $115 billion merger agreement, which is called off in June 2000 after objections from regulators.

--2000: WorldCom's sagging stock price forces Ebbers to sell 3 million shares to pay off debts.

--Feb. 28, 2001: WorldCom lays off 6,000 workers nationwide.

--April 29, 2002: Ebbers resigns as CEO, replaced the next day by John Sidgmore.

--June 14: Sidgmore announces WorldCom will lay off 17,000 workers.

--June 24: WorldCom stock drops below $1, closing at 91 cents.

--June 25: WorldCom admits to inflating earnings by $3.8 billion. The stock falls to 20 cents.

--June 26: The Securities and Exchange Commission files fraud charges against WorldCom Inc.

--July 21: WorldCom Inc. files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

--Aug. 1: Former WorldCom chief financial officer Scott Sullivan and controller David Myers arrested on charges of securities fraud, conspiracy and filing false statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

--Aug. 8: WorldCom says another $3.3 billion in improper accounting discovered, bringing total to $7.15 billion.

--Sept. 10: Sidgmore says he will step down as soon as a permanent replacement can be found.

--Sept. 16: WorldCom says it will trim its work force by 2,000 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as part of a new focus on profitability over revenue growth.

--Sept. 26: Former WorldCom Inc. controller David Myers pleads guilty to securities fraud.

--Oct. 7: Buford Yates, an accounting executive at WorldCom, pleads guilty to securities fraud and conspiracy as part of a deal to cooperate with investigators.

--Oct. 10: WorldCom executives Betty Vinson and Troy Normand plead guilty to conspiracy charges.

--Oct. 11: Former WorldCom controller David Myers pleads guilty to a Mississippi securities fraud charge.

--Oct. 15: WorldCom wins approval to borrow up to $1.1 billion to continue operations while it reorganizes under bankruptcy protection.

--Nov. 5: The government expands its civil fraud charges against WorldCom and the company raises its estimate of inflated earnings to more than $9 billion.

--Nov. 15: Michael Capellas, who stepped down as Hewlett-Packard's president four days earlier, is named WorldCom's chairman and CEO.

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