AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has announced that he’ll be stepping down from his position.
After serving 13 years as AT&T’s Chairman and CEO, Stephenson, 60, will retire as CEO. He has served in the position since May 2007, a period that saw the company massively expand like the $85 billion Time Warner deal and satellite TV provider DirecTV, making AT&T a massive media conglomerate.
Current AT&T president and COO John Stankey is set to replace his and the new CEO on July 1. Stephenson will continue to serve as the executive chairman of AT&T’s board until January 2021, according to a news release.
“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,” Stephenson said in a statement. “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, 57, has served as president and COO since October 2019. He joined AT&T in 1985 and has more than 30 years of leadership spanning nearly every area of AT&T’s business, from corporate strategy and technology to operations and media and entertainment. He has served in a variety of roles, including CEO of WarnerMedia, CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group, Chief Strategy Officer; Chief Technology Officer; CEO of AT&T Operations; and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions.
“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,” Stankey said in a statement. “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.”
Stankey’s selection as AT&T’s next CEO completes the final phase of a succession planning process that AT&T’s Board began in 2017, which included a thorough evaluation of internal and external candidates.
The HR Committee was led by AT&T Director Beth Mooney and was comprised entirely of independent directors and supported by outside consultants.
“Leadership succession is one of the Board’s most important responsibilities,” Mooney said. “After an extensive evaluation, it was clear that John Stankey was the right person to lead AT&T into the future.”
Later this year, AT&T’s Board will elect an independent director to chair the Board of Directors when Stephenson retires as executive chairman in January 2021.