AT&T’s CEO brings forward departure, as the company’s COO set to take over in July

Randall Stephenson had originally intended to see out the year as CEO of the US telco
AT&T, Telecoms, CEO, Leadership, Usa

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AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson has announced that he will step down from his role at the US telco, with effect from the 1st July 2020.

Stephenson will be replaced by the club’s chief operating officer, John Stankey.

Stephenson originally announced his retirement in February and was scheduled to bow out at the end of the year. However, Stephenson has now confirmed he will step down from his role with effect of the 1st July.

AT&T is already struggling under a significant debt pile and the current Covid 19 pandemic has hit US telcos hard, as demand for new handsets and service upgrades wanes. Activist investor Elliott Management has been pushing for a change of leadership for some time but is believed to have stepped up its efforts to implement change in the wake of the current situation.

Stankey is believed to be Elliott Management’s preferred candidate for the role.

“We have been engaged with the company throughout the search process, which was a robust one, including a range of highly qualified outside candidates and overseen by independent directors,” Jesse Cohen, a partner at Elliott Management, told journalists from Reuters on Friday.

“We look forward to working with John as he begins his term as CEO,” he added.

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