John Stankey has been appointed president and chief operating officer of AT&T Inc., effective October 1, while also continuing to serve as CEO of WarnerMedia.
The new position reports to Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO.
The company named AT&T executive Jeff McElfresh as CEO of AT&T Communications, also effective October 1. He is replacing John Donovan, who earlier announced his retirement. McElfresh will lead AT&T’s largest business unit, AT&T Communications, a global telecom leader serving 100 million mobile, broadband and pay-TV customers in the U.S., and millions of business customers.
Reporting to Stankey in his expanded role will be McElfresh; his current WarnerMedia executive team; and Brian Lesser, CEO of Xandr.
“Now is the time to more tightly align our collection of world-class content, scaled consumer relationships, technical know-how and innovative advertising technology,” said Stephenson. “It’s the natural next step in bringing together the distinct and complimentary capabilities of AT&T Communications, WarnerMedia and Xandr to deliver for consumers the benefits of a modern media company. AT&T is alone in the industry in being able to bring together these three great businesses for the launch of innovative consumer offers, relevant advertising and new entertainment services like HBO Max.
“John is an outstanding executive who has led nearly every area of our business, helped shape our strategy and excelled at operations throughout his career. The Board and I look forward to John hitting the ground running in his new role as president and COO,” Stephenson added.
“And I’m excited to have Jeff leading our communications business into the future. He is an accomplished leader with experience across our business—from strategy, technology and network, to marketing, operations and customer experience. This past year, Jeff led the team that won AT&T recognition for having the best, fastest and most reliable wireless network in the country,” Stephenson said.