AT&T announced its pick for the new CEO of AT&T Communications: Jeff McElfresh, who has been with the company for nearly 25 years and has been serving as the president of AT&T Communications’ Technology and Operations group since last year.
AT&T is also expanding the role of executive John Stankey. Stankey has been appointed president and chief operating officer of AT&T Inc., as of October 1, in addition to his role as CEO of WarnerMedia. The president and COO role is a newly created position, the company noted, and Stankey will report to AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson.
McElfresh, 48, will report to Stankey, as will Stankey’s current WarnerMedia team and Brian Lesser, the CEO of AT&T’s advertising and analytics company Xandr.
McElfresh was previously in the role of CEO of AT&T’s Vrio, its DirecTV subsidiary in Latin America, as well as Sky Brazil; and president of AT&T Mexico. He also served as a member of the board of directors and executive committee of Telmex and América Móvil, when AT&T had a minority interest in those two companies. McElfresh took the leading role at AT&T’s Technology and Operations Group after the departure of Melissa Arnoldi in that role; she became CEO of Vrio.
AT&T Communications is the company’s largest business segment, encompassing its wireless and wired operations, its enterprise segment as well as DirecTV, voice and home broadband. John Donovan was the CEO of AT&T Communications for the past two years, as AT&T launched its initial foray into 5G with an enterprise focus and has undertaken the FirstNet network build-out. Donovan announced his retirement late last month.
“Now is the time to more tightly align our collection of world-class content, scaled consumer relationships, technical know-how and innovative advertising technology,” said Stephenson in a statement. “It’s 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. AT&T is alone in the industry in being able to bring together these three great businesses for the launch of innovative consumer offers, relevant advertising and new entertainment services like HBO Max.
Stephenson said that Stankey is “an outstanding executive who has led nearly every area of our business, helped shape our strategy and excelled at operations throughout his career. The Board and I look forward to John hitting the ground running in his new role as president and COO.” He added that McElfresh is “an accomplished leader with experience across our business — from strategy, technology and network, to marketing, operations and customer experience. This past year, Jeff led the team that won AT&T recognition for having the best, fastest and most reliable wireless network in the country.”
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