AT&T COO John Stankey (pictured) detailed a plan to expand a cost-cutting campaign, highlighting a shift in focus from network operations to staffing and corporate expenses.

At an investor conference, Stankey noted the operator had reduced annual network operation costs by between 6 per cent and 8 per cent each year over the past five. In 2020, it aims to shed a further 4 per cent (roughly $1.5 billion) from its expenditure by streamlining other areas of its business.

It will intially focus on slashing staffing costs, with Stankey targeting moves early in 2020. He stated nothing is “off the table” in a review which will also cover benefits, management structure, distribution strategies, call centre operations and its fixed line products.

The move comes as AT&T faces pressure from activist investor Elliott Management to reduce costs and divest non-core assets.

In a statement, AT&T noted it will continue to drop non-core assets in 2020 to help pay down debt, with sales potentially including its regional sports networks, property and towers.