AT&T announces executive changes as it prepares for Time Warner takeover

AT&T announced executive changes in preparation of its $85 billion takeover of Time Warner, including confirming that John Stankey will be running a new media organisation that included Time Warner.

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

With the appointment announced yesterday, Stankey will lead AT&T's Time Warner Merger Integration Planning Team, reporting to AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson. 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,'' it added.

Bloomberg had last week reported Stankey's move to head a new consolidated media group that included Time Warner. But AT&T had said at the time that 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 meant to possibly address regulators' concerns about the combination of assets like HBO, Turner and Warner Bros with AT&T's consumer service businesses, according to commentators.

AT&T added that Lori Lee will lead the company's international business in addition to her responsibilities as global marketing officer.

John Donovan, formerly group president for AT&T Technology, will head the phone and TV businesses.

AT&T added that the three executives will continue to report to AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson.

Reuters cited a source saying earlier this month that AT&T would run its wireless and DirecTV satellite television businesses separately from Time Warner Inc's media assets after it acquired the entertainment group.