Stephenson, 60, will retire but he will be Executive director of board though through January 2021 to ensure a smooth leadership transition for the incoming CEO.
Stephenson became CEO in May 2007. Since then, the stock has fallen 23.7%, while S&P 500 has gained by several times. AT&T did boast a large dividend program during that time, recently issuing dividends to the tune of 7% to current stock price, although that’s in part because of a rather depressed stock price.
John Stankey, the current COO, will be the new CEO effective July 1 and member of board effective June 1.
"Leadership succession is one of the Board's most important responsibilities,” the company said. "After an extensive evaluation, it was clear that John Stankey was the right person to lead AT&T into the future.”
Stephenson said, "I congratulate John, and I look forward to partnering with him as the leadership team moves forward on our strategic initiatives while navigating the difficult economic and health challenges currently facing our country and the world. John has the right experiences and skills, and the unflinching determination every CEO needs to act on his convictions.”
Stankey has been President and COO since October 2019 and has bene with the company since 1985.
AT&T shares were largely flat, as the S&P 500, in line with the move on the S&P 500 Friday.
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