AT&T promoted WarnerMedia chief John Stankey (pictured) to a newly created role of president and COO, adding oversight of the company’s communications and advertising units to his duties.
The operator also announced Jeff McElfresh, president of technology and operations at AT&T Communications, will replace the division’s outgoing CEO John Donovan on 1 October.
McElfresh will report to Stankey, as will Brian Lesser, CEO of AT&T’s Xandr advertising and analytics business. Stankey will continue to serve as WarnerMedia CEO, with his new role overseen by AT&T boss Randall Stephenson.
The announcement put to rest speculation AT&T could use Donovan’s departure as an opportunity to elevate a woman to one of the company’s top executive posts.
In a statement, Stephenson praised Stankey as “an outstanding executive who has led nearly every area of our business, helped shape our strategy and excelled at operations throughout his career”.
“Now is the time to more tightly align our collection of world-class content, scaled consumer relationships, technical know-how and innovative advertising technology”, Stephenson explained, adding the moves are the “natural next step in bringing together the distinct and complimentary capabilities of AT&T Communications, WarnerMedia and Xandr to deliver for consumers the benefits of a modern media company”.
Stankey joined AT&T in 1985 and served in numerous executive roles spanning corporate strategy and M&A; media and entertainment; operations, IT and technology; consumer mobility, broadband and TV; and enterprise business.
McElfresh has been with the company for nearly 25 years, holding various leadership positions including CEO of AT&T’s Vrio, DirecTV Latin America and Sky Brasil businesses; and president of AT&T Mexico.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back