John Donovan, CEO of AT & T Communications, today announced his intention to retire as of October 1, 2019. For two years, Donovan has been leading AT & T's largest business unit. T, which serves 100 million mobile, broadband and pay-TV customers in the United States. as well as millions of business customers, including almost all of the Fortune 1000 group.
The news comes as several important changes have occurred in this unit and in the telecommunications industry in general.
For starters, AT & T had just renamed its DIRECTV NOW streaming service to AT & T NOW, and last week it launched a brand new TV service, AT & T TV, in 10 test markets.
While DIRECTV NOW (aka AT & T TV NOW) is intended to compete with other streaming services such as Dish's Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, etc., the new AT & T channel T TV is more conventional – well-the-top "- option that can work with any broadband connection.
However, it locks customers on two-year contracts, requires a set-top box and offers packages ranging from $ 60 to $ 80 a month, much like a traditional TV subscription.
Elsewhere at AT & T, its WarnerMedia division operates its own streaming service, HBO Max, which aims to compete more directly with high-end offerings, such as Disney + or Apple TV +, for example. AT & T also operates a low-cost streaming service, Watch TV.
And the company continues to offer pay-TV offerings such as DIRECTV (satellite service) and U-verse (cable).
It seems that AT & T should consolidate these efforts at some point, and perhaps Donovan's departure could make some changes. In addition, as reported by the WSJ, Donovan and John Stankey, director of WarnerMedia, sometimes had strained relationships. This could be because HBO Max will eventually compete with other AT & T offerings and services, suggests the report.
In addition to its various streaming ambitions, AT & T is also starting to roll out 5G, a Donovan initiative. The company is also preparing for competition from new players, including what follows from a merger between T-Mobile / Sprint and Dish projects in the wireless market.
Donovan was CEO of AT & T Communications for two years, having joined the company as a CTO in 2008. Prior to this position in July 2017, he was promoted to Strategy Director and Group Chair. at AT & T Technology and Operations.
He previously worked at Verisign, Deloitte Consulting and InCode Telecom Group.
Donovan, 58, was about to retire at age 60, but his departure was still unexpected, the WSJ said.
"It is an honor to lead AT & T Communications in a period of unprecedented innovation and investment in new technologies that is revolutionizing the way people connect to their world," said John Donovan in a statement. "All we have done is credit for the talented women and men of AT & T and their passion for serving our customers. I look forward to the future. I spend more time with my family and proudly watching the AT & T team continue to set the tone for the industry. "
"JD is a tremendous leader and technical visionary who has helped to strengthen AT & T's leadership in connecting its customers, from 5G, fiber and FirstNet versions, to new products and platforms, including setting the global standard for software-defined networks, "added Randall Stephenson. President and CEO of AT & T. "He paved the way by encouraging his team to constantly innovate and develop their skills for the future. We greatly appreciate his many contributions to the success of our company and his unwavering dedication to serving customers and improving our communities. JD is a good friend and I wish him and his family every success in the years to come. "
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