AT&T Confirms John Stankey Will Oversee Time Warner Post-Merger

AT&T announced executive changes to prep for its $85 billion takeover of Time Warner, including confirming that John Stankey will be running a new media organization that includes Time Warner.

Stankey has served as CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group, which includes DirecTV, the telco’s consumer entertainment offerings including video and content development, and its mobility, broadband internet, and advertising businesses.

Under the appointment announced Friday, Stankey will assume the lead of AT&T’s Time Warner Merger Integration Planning Team, reporting to AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson. According to the telco, he will work with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes “to plan for a smooth leadership transition to Stankey as CEO of AT&T’s media company once the merger is complete.”

Stankey’s move to head a new consolidated media group that includes Time Warner post-merger was reported last week by Bloomberg, but AT&T at the time said no decisions had been made with regard to the new management structure.

In his new role, Stankey will no longer be running DirecTV or U-verse broadband operations — a change that may be designed to alleviate regulators’ concerns about the combination of assets like HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. with AT&T’s consumer service businesses.

The company said John Donovan has been named CEO of AT&T Communications, which includes the company’s Business Solutions, Entertainment Group (including DirecTV), and Technology & Operations groups. Donovan was previously chief strategy officer and group president of AT&T Technology and Operations.

In addition, global marketing officer Lori Lee will become the head of AT&T International, managing the company’s mobile services in Mexico and DirecTV-branded pay-TV service in 11 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean. Lee was previously lead of AT&T’s Time Warner Merger Integration Planning Team.

The executive changes are effective Aug. 1, AT&T said.

AT&T’s deal for Time Warner, announced last October, is currently under review by the Department of Justice and authorities in certain foreign countries. The company has said it continues to expect the transaction to close by the end of 2017.

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