John Stankey

Source: WarnerMedia

John Stankey

WarnerMedia owner AT&T has confirmed that John Stankey, currently president and COO, will take over as CEO on July 1, when current chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson retires from the post. 

Stephenson will serve as executive chairman of the AT&T board until next January. 

Stankey, also currently CEO of WarnerMedia, has been heavily involved in that division’s plans to enter the streaming wars with the launch on May 27 of the HBO Max service. As head of WarnerMedia, the 30-year AT&T veteran has also overseen the Warner Bros film and TV studio since AT&T confirmed its acquisition of what was then Time Warner nearly two years ago. 

Earlier this week, Stankey said during a conference call to discuss AT&T results that WarnerMedia was “rethinking” its theatrical releasing model, though the comment was later qualified by a statement in which Stankey said he expected Warner to “continue to champion creative work that is worthy of the theatrical experience.” 

It was announced earlier this month that Jason Kilar, founding CEO of streamer Hulu and a former Amazon software executive, would take over as CEO of WarnerMedia on May 1. 

In a statement, Stankey thanked Stephenson and said: “I’m honoured to be elected the next CEO of AT&T, a company with a rich history and a bright future. We have a strong company, leading brands and a great employee team, which I’m privileged to lead. I couldn’t be more excited about the new opportunities we have to serve our customers and communities and create value for our shareholders.” 

Stephenson said: “I congratulate John, and I look forward to partnering with him as the leadership team moves forward on our strategic initiatives while navigating the difficult economic and health challenges currently facing our country and the world.”