AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson Retiring
…COO John Stankey Taking Top Spot
By Sean Kinney
Following the companies first quarter earnings call this week, AT&T announced that CEO Randall Stephenson, 60, will retire from his position but stay on as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors until January 2021.
Current Chief Operating Officer John Stankey will take over as CEO effective July 1.
Stephenson said in a statement, “I congratulate John, and I look forward to partnering with him as the leadership team moves forward on our strategic initiatives while navigating the difficult economic and health challenges currently facing our country and the world. John has the right experiences and skills, and the unflinching determination every CEO needs to act on his convictions. He has a terrific leadership team onboard to ensure AT&T remains strong and continues to deliver for customers and shareholders for years to come.”
Stephenson has overseen AT&T’s 5G launch, as well as the US$40 billion acquisition of Time Warner, which was rebranded as WarnerMedia. AT&T, based on commentary from executives, sees itself as a “modern media company,” wherein content production and distribution are joined together to create a valuable pool of consumer data that can inform the company’s Xander advertising business.
Stankey has been in his current position since October last year and with AT&T since 1985. During his tenure he has served as WarnerMedia CEO, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Technology Officer among other positions.
“I’m honored to be elected the next CEO of AT&T, a company with a rich history and a bright future,” Stankey said in a statement. “My thanks go to Randall for his vision and outstanding leadership during a period of tremendous change and investment in the core capabilities needed to position AT&T well for the years ahead. And I appreciate the Board’s confidence in me leading the company during our next chapter of growth and innovation in keeping people connected, informed and entertained. We have a strong company, leading brands and a great employee team, which I’m privileged to lead. I couldn’t be more excited about the new opportunities we have to serve our customers and communities and create value for our shareholders.”