11. Bill Devine
Ask any Capitol denizen what companies consistently maintain the tightest grasp on California’s levers of power and inevitably AT&T appears at the top of the list. Bill Devine is AT&T’s Field General in Sacramento, and his influence is only growing with AT&T’s 2015 acquisition of El Segundo-based DirecTV and pending merger with Time Warner. Devine was a driving force in the year’s most closely-watched telecommunications bill – legislation that would expedite the local installation of “small cell” devices necessary to expand 5G wireless statewide. The company also remains the largest individual corporate donor to candidate campaigns across the state. It is the signature sponsor of what has been – for more than a decade — the single largest legislative fundraiser, the annual Speaker’s Cup event at Pebble Beach. Devine is folksy, friendly and ubiquitous in Capitol corridors. He has every legislator on speed dial, and in an era when flashy tech companies like Airbnb and Uber dominate the headlines, no company has left a greater footprint on technology-related public policy in California than AT&T.
Updated Aug. 29, 2o17