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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson To Retire, COO Stankey To Succeed

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AT&T Inc.'s (T) long time Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson, 60, will retire. The company's President and Chief Operating Officer John Stankey, 57, will take over the position on July 1.

Stephenson, who has served as AT&T's CEO for more than 13 years, will stay on as executive chairman until January 2021.

"Stankey's selection as AT&T's next CEO completes the final phase of a succession planning process that AT&T's Board began in 2017," the company said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Elliott Management, the activist investment firm that urged for executive changes at AT&T, reportedly said it supports Stankey as the company's next chief executive officer.

Later this year, the company will elect an independent director to chair the Board of Directors when Stephenson retires as executive chairman in January 2021.

Stankey has served as president and COO since October 2019. He joined AT&T in 1985. He has served in a variety of roles, including CEO of WarnerMedia; CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group; chief strategy officer, chief technology officer, CEO of AT&T Operations, and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions.

Separately, AT&T said its stockholders have re-elected each of the 13 nominees to the company's board of directors for one-year terms. Each member received at least 92.7% of the shares voted.

At its annual meeting of stockholders, AT&T's stockholders approved the appointment of Ernst & Young LLP as the company's independent auditor; the compensation of AT&T's executive officers.

All three shareholder proposals were defeated by a large margin. The proposals had asked independent chairman, employee representative director, and guiding principles of executive compensation.

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