AT&T boss cashes in on Elliott spat - Mobile World Live

AT&T boss cashes in on Elliott spat

12 MAR 2020

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson’s (pictured) total compensation for 2019 reportedly increased by 10 per cent, as the executive benefitted from a spat between the operator and activist investor Elliott Management which caused a significant boost in share price.

The Wall Street Journal reported Stephenson received a package of $32 million in 2019, a 10 per cent increase, based on appreciation in the value of AT&T’s stock.

Along with Stephenson, John Stankey, head of AT&T’s WarnerMedia business, was also left better off, with his pay increasing to $22.5 million, from $16.6 million in 2018.

John Donovan, who stepped down as chief of the Communications business in October 2019, took home $27 million, although $10 million was from other pay, including a retirement bonus.

Elliott effect
AT&T share price spiked after Elliott Management, which owns a stake in the company worth $3.2 billion, criticised AT&T’s merger and acquisitions strategy, and overall management. AT&T later responded by promising not to make any headline buys for three years and detailed plans to generate up to $10 billion from non-core assets.

Elliott Management has built a reputation in the technology industry for taking significant stakes in the companies and then pushing for change, typically resulting in a boost in share price.

Already in 2020, it took aim at SoftBank while also pushing for change at Twitter.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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