24 APR 2020

AT&T'S RANDALL STEPHENSON STEPS DOWN, JOHN STANKEY TO SERVE AS NEW CEO

Stankey is set to start working in his new role on 1 July. Stephenson will continue to serve as the Executive Chairman of AT&T’s board until January 2021. He worked in his role as CEO for 13 years, contributing to the acquisition of Leap Wirless, WarnerMedia, and DirectTV.

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Randall Stephenson has announced that he’ll be stepping down from his position as AT&T CEO. The company's President and COO John Stankey set to replace him as the new CEO on 1 July, via CNBC. Stephenson will continue to serve as the Executive Chairman of AT&T’s board until January 2021. "Leadership succession is one of the Board’s most important responsibilities,” AT&T board member Beth Mooney said in a statement. “After an extensive evaluation, it was clear that John Stankey was the right person to lead AT&T into the future." 

Stephenson started his job at AT&T’s CEO since May 2007, during which the company massively expand in both existing and new markets. It attempted to purchase T-mobile in 2011 but failed. It also worked on the acquisition of Leap Wireless in 2013, a purchase of DirecTV in 2014, and the landmark $85 billion Time Warner deal that closed back in 2018 after years of regulatory fighting and objections from the Justice Department.

Stankey took over in September when AT&T named him the President and COO of the company. Stankey continued to oversee its WarnerMedia division as CEO but started looking for a successor late last year. AT&T named former Hulu chief Jason Kilar as the new CEO of WarnerMedia in April, giving Stankey the space to move forward at AT&T without having to worry about overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company’s growing and controversial division.  “You have inspired and supported me for nearly 35 years, and I couldn’t be more excited about tackling the challenges with you at one of the most dynamic and exciting times in our company’s history,”  Stankey said.

Both Stephenson and Stankey have both worked with HBO Max. Stephenson described it as a “meaningful business” to the company that will give results over the next four to five years. AT&T lost 138,000 AT&T TV Now streaming service subscribers in the most recent quarter, which followed a loss of 219,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter. AT&T also recorded an 897,000 loss of premium TV subscribers at DirecTV and U-Verse. The company lost more than one million TV subscribers overall.

Leadership succession is one of the Board’s most important responsibilities. AT&T board member Beth Mooney said in a statement. After an extensive evaluation, it was clear that John Stankey was the right person to lead AT&T into the future.” Beth Mooney AT&T Board Member