AT&T, Inc. (NYSE: T) announced on Friday that it is planning a major organizational reshuffle, including a redefined role for Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson, following its $84.5 billion acquisition of Time Warner, Inc. (NYSE: TWX).
The CEO will move to the role of executive chairman and oversee a pair of chief executives who will independently manage the company's telecommunications and media businesses. Stephenson, 57, will still be the top executive of the company, focused on charting the company’s new course as a media powerhouse.
John Stankey, who currently leads DirecTV and other entertainment businesses, will become CEO of the media division that would include HBO, Warner Brothers, and news network CNN.
The reorganization mimics the structure of other successful mergers of disparate businesses, including Comcast Corp.’s acquisition of NBCUniversal. By naming two executives who can run their businesses at arm’s length, AT&T could also address regulators’ concerns that the company’s TV and broadband networks would favor content produced by Time Warner’s HBO or Warner Bros.
Stephenson and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes are still working on plans for implementing the merger, said an AT&T spokesman. Decisions about organizational structure and leadership haven’t yet been finalized, the spokesman said. Bewkes has said he will stay on in some capacity for at least a year after the merger is complete.
AT&T shares rose less than 1 percent to $36.32 in New York. Time Warner climbed less than 1 percent to $99.65.