AT&T lined up SVP of Engineering and Operations Igal Elbaz to replace EVP and CTO of network services Andre Fuetsch (pictured), who is set to retire in September after 27 years with the company.

Elbaz has been with AT&T for 14 years and will oversee the operator’s network technology and Lab divisions, reporting to recently-appointed CTO Jeremy Legg.

Prior to his current position, Fuetsch was president of AT&T Labs and CTO for four years.

Fuetsch played a key role in former AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan’s Domain 2.0 initiative, which included virtualising 75 per cent of the company’s network functions by 2020.

AvidThink analyst Roy Chua told Mobile World Live AT&T had shifted away from its focus of internal development by outsourcing infrastructure and some operational capabilities.

AT&T struck a deal to move its 5G core network to Microsoft Azure in 2021, which included its network cloud engineers joining the software giant.

The deal allowed AT&T to focus on serving its mobility customers instead of continuing to evolve its own network cloud.

Fuetsch was a big proponent of open source and software development. He is chairman of the O-RAN Alliance.

Chua noted Domain 2.0, open-source and in-house code development advocates have slowly been exiting AT&T.

Mazin Gilbert, who held various executive positions, left AT&T in 2021 for a position with Google.