AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson Retiring, COO John Stankey Become Chief Executive Job In July

It’s a changing of the guard at AT&T, which revealed Friday that CEO Randall Stephenson is retiring and chief operating officer John Stankey will take the top job as of July 1.

The move was announced at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders.

Stephenson, 60, and chairman-CEO for the past 13 years, will serve as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors until January to ensure a smooth transition.

AT&T said 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. Most recently, the HR Committee — led by AT&T Director Beth Mooney, comprised entirely of independent directors and supported by outside consultants — engaged in an extensive five-month search process to ensure that 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 said. “After an extensive evaluation, it was clear that John Stankey was the right person to lead AT&T into the future.”

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 across AT&T’s business, from corporate strategy and technology, to operations and media and entertainment.

Stankey 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.

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