AT&T boss defends controversial succession plan

AT&T boss Randall Stephenson defended his decision to pick a controversial insider as his successor, days after billionaire Paul Singer’s activist hedge fund questioned the move.

Facing criticism over his decision this month to promote John Stankey, the divisive boss of AT&T’s entertainment unit WarnerMedia, to the role of operating chief, Stephenson said Tuesday the move is central to the company’s strategy.

“It was a very short list, and John Stankey quickly rose to the top,” the chief executive said at a media conference hosted by Goldman Sachs in New York.

As reported by The Post, Stephenson’s No. 2 has bulldozed the executive structure at WarnerMedia, formerly known as Time Warner, since AT&T acquired the company last year. Top execs like HBO CEO Richard Plepler and Turner president David Levy have left the division since Stankey took the helm.

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