AT&T reportedly planning new role for CEO in post-merger reorganisation

AT&T is to follow up its US$85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner with a management overhaul that will see AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson drop his current title and become chairman of the combined organisation, with separate telecoms and media divisional CEOs reporting to him, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Randall Stephenson

Randall Stephenson

According to the report, citing unnamed sources, Stephenson will be responsible for the overall direction of the company, with current DirecTV CEO John Stankey taking over as CEO of a new media division that will include Time Warner.

DirecTV itself will become part of a combined unit with AT&T’s telecom network business, to be headed by John Donovan, currently the company’s strategy chief.

Current Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has previously said he will stay on for a year after the merger has been finalised.

According to Bloomberg, the reorganisation is designed to address concerns that AT&T could favour content from Time Warner’s HBO or Warner Bros is the telecoms and media divisions were too closely intertwined.

A similar solution was adopted by Comcast in its acquisition of NBCUniversal, with NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke being left to run the entertainment division and Comcast pledging not to favour NBCUniversal content on its cable network for several years.

AT&T announced its deal to acquire Time Warner for US$108.7 billion last October.

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