AT&T: Reports Of Leadership Changes Post-Time Warner Acquisition Unfounded, No Decisions Have Been Made

Speculation swirled Friday morning around telecom giant AT&T reportedly planning a major executive shakeup once its anticipated $85.4 billion acquisition of media heavyweight Time Warner is complete following a report published by Bloomberg, but AT&T told CRN that no leadership decisions have been made.

Bloomberg first reported Friday that Randall Stephenson, who has sat in AT&T's CEO seat for the past 10 years, would be transitioning to executive chairman. The report, which cited people familiar with the matter, said that Stephenson would oversee two new CEOs who would separately manage the Dallas-based carrier's telecommunications and media businesses.

A spokesperson for AT&T told CRN that "no decisions on organizational structure or leadership have been finalized," and that Stephenson and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes are currently "working through that."

The spokesperson also told CRN that Stephenson will remain chairman and CEO after the carrier closes its Time Warner deal.

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CNBC Friday tweeted that Stephenson told the news channel that reports of a massive leadership reorganization are "speculation."

Bloomberg's report outlined the potential new leadership structure, which includes current CEO of AT&T's Entertainment Group and AT&T Services John Stankey becoming CEO of the company's media division, which will include Time Warner. DirecTV, which is a part of AT&T's Entertainment business today, would become part of AT&T's traditional phone business under the the reported plan.

At the same time, the report said that AT&T's phone business would be led by John Donovan, who will move from his current role of chief strategy officer and group president of technology and operations to CEO of the telecom side of the business.

Under the reported plan, both CEOs would report to Stephenson, and Bewkes would stay with the company -- albeit possibly in a different capacity -- for at least one year after the transaction is closed, according to Bloomberg.

AT&T expects it will win the necessary regulatory approvals for the Time Warner acquisition by the end of 2017.

 

 

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