José Antonio González-Bueno is the new Chairman of Telefónica. Together with his CEO, Santiago Foncillas, he led the Company to its 50th anniversary. It is also the year of the birth of ATAM, the association to help people with special needs with which Telefónica continues to collaborate to this day.

Helping comes from within


Long, long before the so-called Social Responsibility existed, long before Fundación Telefónica was born and the company's social action was channelled in any way, a group of employees joined forces to give shape to ATAM. All of us at Telefónica know what ATAM is, it is part of our DNA and the soul of the company, and it was born to be the association with which Telefónica has been helping employees with children who have special needs since 1973. Before with pencil and notebook, now with IoT and Big Data, but always working so that they have autonomy and can advance and grow. From the very year of its creation, working with ATAM even became part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and became one of the three main pillars of employee social protection, along with the pension plan and health insurance.

Escudo Atam

A transitional chairman, José Antonio González-Bueno


This year saw the arrival at Telefónica of what would become its fourth and shortest chairman until then. José Antonio González-Bueno Ramognino, a state lawyer, with a discreet and continuist profile, would lead the company until its 50th anniversary - the following year - and would leave the presidency a year and a half later, in 1976.

José Antonio González-Bueno

Submarine cable to Brazil


1973 is also the year of the inauguration of BRACAN-I, the submarine cable with 160 circuits of capacity that linked Spain with Brazil, from the Canary Islands to the city of Recife. A state-of-the-art infrastructure that served not only to strengthen communications between Europe and the South Atlantic but also to diversify and route cable and satellite traffic.

Cable submarino hasta Brasil

Plaza Catalunya exchange burns down


In June of the same year, Telefónica faced a major setback. A terrifying fire breaks out in the emblematic Plaza Catalunya exchange in Barcelona. The flames started on the sixth floor and spread to burn it completely, as well as the fifth and seventh floors. Hundreds of workers were hurriedly evicted and three injuries were reported. The materials present in the exchange- cables, wood, panels - spread the fire at high speed and the work of the firemen was almost heroic. Nearly 40,000 private and business lines and 140 telephone booths were without service for days. Practically the entire Telefónica workforce in Barcelona threw itself into the recovery, which was not fully restored until mid-July.

Incendio en Plaza Cataluña

Tendido cable submarino Bracan

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