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AT&T CEO to become executive chair following Time Warner deal: Bloomberg


- AT&Inc is planning major organizational reshuffle that will include redefined role for Chief Executive Randall Stephenson following its $85.4 billion of Inc, reported on Friday.

Stephenson will move to the role of executive chairman and oversee pair of chief executives who will independently manage the company's telecommunications and media businesses, according to the report.

AT&spokesman Fletcher Cook said in an emailed statement that no decisions on organizational structure have been finalized and that Stephenson and Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes were still working through them. did not immediately respond to request for comment.

John Stankey, who currently leads DirecTV and other entertainment businesses, will become CEO of the media division that would include HBO, Brothers and network CNN, reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

DirecTV will become part of unit that includes AT&T's traditional phone businesses, to be run by John Donovan, the report said.

"While we always remain somewhat skeptical of co-CEO structure, we know both these individuals and know and very much appreciate the depth of the AT&'bench,'" Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche said in research note on Friday, adding that "such structure makes sense to us as (AT&T) integrates this asset in the first few years."

AT&shares were up 0.16 percent to $36.27 in Friday morning trading. shares were up 0.69 percent to $99.83.

AT&said last month it was confident of winning regulatory approval for the of before the year end, as the U.S. Justice Department continues to review the deal.

"While we acknowledge that tailwinds for AT&T's shares have improved since the U.S. election, we believe its structure as deal stock may temper its performance in the near term," Barclays analyst Amir Rozwadowski said in note.

U.S. President Donald Trump has been critical of Warner's division CNN in recent months, calling the outlet "fake news". He had also expressed opposition to the merger during his election campaign.

group of Senate Democrats including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Al Franken had also urged the Justice Department last month to closely scrutinize the deal.

had reported better-than-expected first quarter profit in May as revenue from its box office hits offset declining ad sales, while AT&in April missed revenue estimates due to lower equipment sales.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Parikshit Mishra in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru and Anjali Athavaley in New York; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Shounak Dasgupta)

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