AT&T Inc. named media honcho John Stankey to the new position of president and chief operating officer, establishing a clear No. 2 to Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson.
The company also said that technology chief Jeff McElfresh, 48, will become CEO of AT&T Communications, filling a post vacated last week when John Donovan abruptly stepped down.
With the $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, AT&T effectively created two No. 2 executives under Stephenson: Stankey led the media businesses, while Donovan oversaw the phone and technology divisions. That arrangement gets eliminated with the changes announced Tuesday.
McElfresh will lead AT&T’s largest business as head of the communications division. But he’ll report to Stankey, 56, as will the executives who lead WarnerMedia and Brian Lesser, head of the Xandr advertising business.