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AT&T Stock Up Nearly 1%, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson to Step Down

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by Muhaimin Olowoporoku · 3 min read
AT&T Stock Up Nearly 1%, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson to Step Down
Photo: Mike Mozart / Flickr

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson will retire while the company’s President and COO John Stankey will replace him. AT&T stock is in the green.

American multinational conglomerate holding company and one of the world’s largest telecommunications and mobile telephone services provider AT&T Inc (NYSE: T) made public on Friday that it’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Randall Stephenson is going to retire. Meanwhile, these days AT&T stock is in the green,

John Stankey, Chief Operations Officer and President, will succeed CEO Randall Stephenson on July 1.

Before Stephenson’s retirement, he was AT&T’s CEO and chairman for over a decade (13 years) and, upon retirement, would be the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors till next year to make sure leadership succession in the firm gets into the right hands.

However, naming John Stankey as the next CEO and succession processes started two years ago at the Board level. As the process was near completion, suitable candidates were thoroughly evaluated within and outside the firm.

AT&T’s HR Committee, alongside independent directors and foreign consultants, searched thoroughly for five months to get the right successor for CEO Randall Stephenson.

The long time search was to make sure that the new CEO had characteristics and leadership qualities required to execute AT&T’s strategic plans.

However, with John Stankey, the new AT&T CEO, all looks good as the investment firm Elliott Management that championed the move for AT&T executive change is in support of Stankey as the new CEO after not liking the idea initially.

AT&T Stock Is Up after the News about CEO Retirement

Yesterday AT&T stock was on a bullish run. On Friday, it surged 0.7%, having open at $29.59 and now trading at $29.71. After hours, the stock was 0.13%. In the long run, however, AT&T is trying to maneuver these hard times amidst the coronavirus pandemic alongside a huge debt load after losing a lot of DirecTV subscribers.

Between January and April 2020, the telecom firm has lost not less than 890,000 premium TV subscribers. AT&T also has T-Mobile to compete within the industry following the latter’s merger with Sprint. Stephenson, before retirement, wanted to take over T-Mobile in 2011 but failed as the Department of Justice obstructed the acquisition.

The firm’s shares had also plunged 25% since 2007 when CEO Randall Stephenson assumed office. At the same Time, AT&T currently wallows in $200 billion debt following its DirecTV take over. However, the AT&T board is to elect an independent director who will be the chairman of the Board of Directors after Stephenson retirement next year.

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