Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, parent company of CNN, “forced” out

Randall Stephenson, the CEO of AT&T, which recently acquired Time Warner (which owned CNN), is retiring, he announced, effective July 1, which was seen as a surpise, as Fortune reports, since AT&T had previously announced Stephenson would stay atop AT&T until at least 2020.

Well, now John Stankey, who was COO and president (who had previously been overseeing WarnerMedia) is the CEO, but Stephenson will stay on the board as executive chairman until the end of this year.

One prominent investor was against Stephenson, and is expected to have been part of what pushed him out, Fortune reports. And just last September, that investor, Elliott Management, attacked his plan to buy Time Warner, “AT&T has yet to articulate a clear strategic rationale for why AT&T needs to own Time Warner.”

Elliott partner Jesse Cohn said in a statement on Friday that “Elliott supports John Stankey as AT&T’s next CEO.” He also made clear that Stankey probably wouldn’t have been chosen without Elliott’s approval, saying, “We have been engaged with the company throughout the search process.”

Trump weighed in, apparently unaware Stankey already oversaw CNN:

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