John Palmer was founder, chairman and chief executive officer of MobileComm and SkyTel. In 1989, MobileComm was sold to BellSouth, and SkyTel was formed as a spinoff company. Palmer served as chairman of SkyTel until its sale to MCI/WorldComm in 1999. Prior to his appointment as U.S. ambassador to Portugal in 2001, he was chairman of Gulf South Capital Inc., a position he holds today.
Palmer has served on the President’s Export Council as a private sector adviser to the secretary of commerce and as a private sector trade adviser to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. He holds B.A. and MBA degrees from the University of Mississippi and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Millsaps College.