Cravens Retires from Alltel

Long before — well, at least a week before — Alltel Corp. announced the layoff of 200 Arkansas employees, Bill Cravens told us he would be retiring as chairman of Alltel Information Services on March 2.

It's his second retirement. Cravens, 67, began work as an engineer for GE. After five years, he worked as a certified public accountant. He did that for 15 years, then dived into the banking business.

After 10 years in banking, which included a stint as head of Worthen Banking Corp., Cravens had a heart attack and retired for the first time.

Joe Ford, president and CEO of Alltel, coaxed Cravens back into the work force by making him chairman of the company's information services division, where he's worked ever since. Now Cravens says his work at Alltel is done.

"We've pretty well addressed in Information Services all of the issues that needed to be addressed," he said. "We've got a good, smart, young management team around here."

Cravens said he will remain chairman of Pinnacle Bancshares of Little Rock and continue his service on other boards and organizations, including Fifty for the Future and the Oaklawn Jockey Club.