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AT&T CEO Dismisses Reports Of Leadership Change Following Proposed Time Warner Merger

AT&T CEO Dismisses Reports Of Leadership Change Following Proposed Time Warner Merger
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AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX) could result in Randal Stephenson losing his CEO title, Bloomberg reported.

As part of AT&T's $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, Stephenson will see a new role and oversee a pair of CEOs who will each independently run the telecommunications and media businesses, Bloomberg said. However, with or without the CEO title, Stephenson will still be the highest ranked executive.

Meanwhile, the two companies are still working out their merger and should close by the end of the year -- that is unless the White House or antitrust regulators block the deal from happening.

Stephenson: Not Exactly True

Stephenson himself said the Bloomberg report isn't accurate. Speaking to CNBC, he said the report is "full of speculation" and he will remain CEO of the combined AT&T-Time Warner entity.

"No decisions on org structure or leadership have been finalized. Randall and Jeff are working through that," the company said in a statement. "Randall Stephenson will remain chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T after we close the Time Warner deal."

Nevertheless, CNBC's David Faber suggested that Bloomberg's report is mostly accurate and the only aspect that isn't true is merely the title. A reorganization of the corporate ladder is widely expected as John Stankey will lead the media division and John Donovan will run the traditional phone business.

Time Warner's current CEO Jeff Bewkes was expected to play a role in the combined entity but that is "no longer the case," Faber added.

Meanwhile, sources close to the situation continue telling Faber the deal is expected to close "certainly sooner than the end of the year" and perhaps as early as mid-September.

Related Links:

Stating The Obvious: A Successful Time Warner Acquisition Will Be A Game Changer For AT&T

UBS Calls It: The Time Warner, AT&T Deal Will Happen

Image credit: Mike Mozart, Flickr

Posted-In: CNBC David Faber Jeff Bewkes Randal StephensonRumors Management M&A Media Best of Benzinga


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