Randall L. Stephenson

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Randall L. Stephenson
Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T.jpg
Stephenson at the 2008 World Economic Forum
Randall Lynn Stephenson

(1960-04-22) April 22, 1960 (age 59)
ResidenceDallas, Texas
Alma materUniversity of Oklahoma (M.Acy.)
OccupationTelecommunications executive
TitleChairman and CEO, AT&T

Randall Lynn Stephenson (born April 22, 1960) is an American telecommunications executive. He is the current chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of AT&T Inc. since May 9, 2007. He served as National Chair of the Boy Scouts of America from 2016 to 2018.


Stephenson earned an MA from the University of Oklahoma,[1] then began his career in 1982 with Southwestern Bell Telephone in the information-technology organization in Oklahoma. Late in the 1980s through 1990s, he progressed through a series of leadership positions in finance, including an international assignment in Mexico City overseeing SBT's investment in Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex), where, according to Bloomberg, he was mentored by Carlos Slim.[2] In July 2001, he was appointed chief financial officer for SBC, helping the company reduce its net debt from $30 billion to near zero by early 2004. From 2003 to 2004, Stephenson served as chairman of the board of directors for Cingular Wireless. In 2004, he was named chief operating officer of SBC and also appointed by President Bush as National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.

Stephenson continued as COO following SBC's acquisition of AT&T in 2005, responsible for all wireless and wireline operations at AT&T. In April 2007, AT&T announced Stephenson would succeed retiring Edward Whitacre as CEO. Stephenson served as chairman of the Business Roundtable from 2014 to 2016.[3]

In April 2015, Stephenson was named as a co-defendant in a lawsuit filed by Knoyme King, an assistant at AT&T. According to King, Stephenson was complicit in covering up racist texts sent by then-President Aaron Slator.[4] King's suit against AT&T removed Stephenson as a co-defendant after an attempt to obtain his deposition in April 2016 failed;[5] the case against the remaining defendants was settled out of court in September 2016.[6]

In September 2016, Stephenson gave a speech regarding race relations at AT&T’s annual Employee Resource Group conference in Dallas. An employee posted a video of the speech to YouTube, in which Stephenson asked attendees to make a greater effort to understand each other and communicate better.[7]

During his tenure as CEO, AT&T acquired DirecTV for $49 billion in July 2015 and Time Warner for $85 billion in June 2018. According to Drew FitzGerald of The Wall Street Journal, Stephenson has "transformed the phone company he inherited into one of the world's biggest entertainment companies."[8]


He was the 36th National President of the Boy Scouts of America, serving from 2016[9] until 2018.[10] Stephenson, as well as fellow board member Jim Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young, publicly opposed the BSA's practice of banning openly gay Scouts and stated their intention "to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress."[11]

Personal life[edit]

Stephenson maintains homes in Preston Hollow, Dallas and Olmos Park, San Antonio, Texas. Stephenson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Stephenson Profile". www.att.com (Press release).
  2. ^ Moritz, Scott; Smith, Gerry (24 October 2016). "AT&T Dealmaker Is a Carlos Slim Protege With a List in Cloud". Bloomberg.com.
  3. ^ "AT&T Chairman & CEO Randall Stephenson Named Chairman of Business Roundtable" (Press release). Business Roundtable. September 18, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  4. ^ "AT&T Fires President Over Racist Text, $100M Lawsuit Goes On". cbslocal.com. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  5. ^ Case Number: BC579717 Knoyme King vs. AT&T Services Inc (5 April 2016). "Notice of Withdrawal of Demurrer; Defendant Randall Stephenson". Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles.
  6. ^ James, Meg (24 January 2017). "Former AT&T executive alleges he was a scapegoat in flap over a racist meme". latimes.com.
  7. ^ Brian Fung (September 30, 2016). "Watch AT&T's CEO give a forceful defense of Black Lives Matter". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  8. ^ Drew FitzGerald (June 12, 2018). "AT&T Chief Gambled and Won Big". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  9. ^ "Randall Stephenson, AT&T CEO, elected BSA national president" (Press release). Scouting Magazine. 26 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Thank You, Randall Stephenson And Welcome, Jim Turley" (Press release). Boy Scouts of America. May 26, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  11. ^ McGregor, Jena (July 19, 2012). "After Boy Scouts of America reaffirms exclusion of gays, the biggest leadership question remains". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  12. ^ "Membership Roster – Council on Foreign Relations". Cfr.org. Retrieved 2012-09-15.

External links[edit]

Boy Scouts of America
Preceded by
Robert Gates
President of the Boy Scouts of America
Succeeded by
Jim Turley