Randall Stephenson will step down as AT&T CEO on July 1, capping a 13-year tenure the place he oversaw the corporate’s controversial acquisitions of DirecTV and Time Warner, leaving AT&T saddled with a large debt burden.
COO John Stankey, who additionally beforehand served as Warner Media’s CEO, will substitute Stephenson on July 1.
Stephenson will keep on as govt chairman of the Board of Administrators till January 2021 “to ensure a smooth leadership transition,” the corporate stated.
AT&T has been in search of a brand new CEO since 2017 and Stankey was largely seen as Stephenson’s possible successor when he was promoted to COO in September.
Stephenson guided AT&T via its transition from a telecommunications firm right into a full-fledged Hollywood energy participant with its acquisitions of satellite tv for pc large DirecTV and Time Warner, which left the corporate with a great deal of debt.
These acquisitions have been scrutinized as AT&T’s satellite tv for pc TV subscribers have plummeted and activist hedge fund Elliott Administration questioned whether or not AT&T may repay its debt, including that AT&T has not articulated “a clear strategic rationale for why AT&T needs to own Time Warner.”
AT&T shares had been down .8% following the information.
As a result of film theaters are closed, tv and film productions are on pause and promoting income is cratering, AT&T is dealing with vital monetary uncertainty as a result of coronavirus. The corporate added to its debt pile by taking out a brand new $5.5 billion loan in April to cope with the fallout whereas signaling that layoffs may very well be coming because it seeks to chop prices.
“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,” Stephenson stated.
President Donald Trump took intention at Stephenson and AT&T, which acquired CNN within the Time Warner deal.
“Great News! Randall Stephenson, the CEO of heavily indebted AT&T, which owns and presides over Fake News @CNN, is leaving, or was forced out. Anyone who lets a garbage “network” do and say the issues that CNN does, ought to depart ASAP. Hopefully substitute will likely be significantly better!” he tweeted.
AT&T is launching its new streaming service, HBO Max on Might 27, which will likely be loaded with a deep catalogue of content material it purchased within the Time Warner acquisition. At $14.99 per thirty days—a costlier price level than Netflix—AT&T is hoping for 50 million subscribers by 2025.
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