AT&T chief over unit serving business, mobile and pay TV customers to retire
The leader of AT&T’s unit serving mobile and pay TV subscribers and millions of business customers will retire Oct. 1.
The Dallas-based telecom company announced the retirement of John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications, on Monday morning. In 2018, Donovan’s unit brought in $145 billion in revenue, 80% of the company’s total.
AT&T said it intends to name his replacement soon.
“JD is a terrific leader and a tech visionary who helped drive AT&T’s leadership in connecting customers, from our 5G, fiber and FirstNet buildouts, to new products and platforms, to setting the global standard for software-defined networks,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement.
Donovan, 58, joined AT&T in 2008 as chief technology officer, overseeing the company’s innovation. He was named CEO of AT&T Communications in July 2017.
His $14.5 million pay package last year included a $100,000 bonus for “being ahead of schedule on our FirstNet deployment, a return to revenue growth in mobility, and extending our high-speed fiber network to an additional 500,000 U.S. business locations,” the company said in a regulatory filing.
The pay TV side of AT&T’s business has been under pressure in recent months.
In the three-month period that ended in June, AT&T lost nearly a million TV customers. That’s ratcheted up the urgency in proving it can turn its deep library of TV shows and movies into a winning, long-term business strategy. With the acquisition of Time Warner (now called WarnerMedia), the Dallas-based company became owner of HBO, Warner Bros. and Turner Broadcasting.
AT&T is betting it can attract customers with new streaming products. It recently rebranded its DirecTV Now streaming service to AT&T Now.
John Stankey runs the WarnerMedia division of AT&T’s business.