AT&T taps John Stankey as its next CEO

Current AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson to retire on July 1

After 13 years at the helm of AT&T, chairman and CEO, Randall Stephenson, has announced he’ll retire from his CEO post this summer.

Stephenson will continue serving as executive chairman of the board of directors until January 2021, ensuring a smooth leadership transition. The AT&T board has since elected its current president and chief operating officer, John Stankey, as CEO. Stankey will take the reigns on July 1, 2020.

Stankey was appointed as AT&T COO in October 2019 and has managed most of the company’s operations. Before becoming COO, Stankey led AT&T’s move into the media and entertainment industries by managing its $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner.

Stankey's selection as the telecommunication giant’s next CEO signifies the final phase of a succession planning process AT&T's board began back in 2017. Led by AT&T director Beth Mooney and comprised of independent directors and outside consultants, the group tasked with identifying AT&T’s next CEO engaged in an intensive search process to ensure the company’s next CEO “possessed the vision, experience, talent and leadership qualities necessary to deliver on AT&T's strategic plans.”

"Leadership succession is one of the Board's most important responsibilities," Mooney shared in a recent press release. "After an extensive evaluation, it was clear that John Stankey was the right person to lead AT&T into the future.”

Stankey joined AT&T in 1985 and has more than 30 years of leadership experience that includes being the CEO of WarnerMedia, CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group, CEO of AT&T operations and CEO of AT&T business solutions.

Current CEO, Randall Stephenson said: “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.”

Stankey added: “I’m honored to be elected the next CEO of AT&T, a company with a rich history and a bright future… 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.”

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