John Stankey new AT&T president and COO, Jeff McElfresh CEO of AT&T Communications

Both appointments are effective October 1, 2019. Stankey will continue as CEO of WarnerMedia.

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AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has named John Stankey president and chief operating officer of AT&T Inc. and Jeff McElfresh CEO of AT&T Communications LLC. Both appointments are effective October 1, 2019. Stankey will continue as CEO of WarnerMedia.

Stankey’s new position is also new to AT&T. He will report to Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, while McElfresh, Stankey’s current WarnerMedia executive team, and Brian Lesser, CEO of Xandr, will report to him. The 56-year-old Stankey joined AT&T in 1985 and has served in leadership roles in such areas as corporate strategy and M&A; media and entertainment; operations, IT, and technology; consumer mobility, broadband, and TV; and enterprise business.

“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 in explaining the creation of the new position. “It’s the natural next step in bringing together the distinct and complementary 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.”

McElfresh, meanwhile, will take over for John Donovan, who earlier announced that he will retire on October 1 (see “AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan signals retirement date”). McElfresh, 48, has nearly 25 years of experience with AT&T. Most recently, he was president of AT&T Communications’ Technology and Operations group where he was responsible for the company’s network, technology, cybersecurity, data ,and labs operations. Other roles have included CEO of AT&T’s Vrio and its DIRECTV Latin America and SKY Brasil businesses; and president of AT&T Mexico and a member of the board of directors and executive committee of Telmex and América Móvil, overseeing AT&T’s subsequently divested minority interest in the two companies.

“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.

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