Randall L. Stephenson

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Randall L. Stephenson
Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T.jpg
Stephenson at the 2008 World Economic Forum
36th President of the Boy Scouts of America
In office
May 26, 2016 – July 7, 2018
Preceded by Robert Gates
Succeeded by Jim Turly
Personal details
Born Randall Lynn Stephenson
(1960-04-22) April 22, 1960 (age 58)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Spouse(s) Lenise
Children 2
Residence Dallas, Texas
Alma mater University of Central Oklahoma (B.S.)
University of Oklahoma (Master of Accountancy)
Occupation Chairman, CEO and president of AT&T (2007-present)

Randall Lynn Stephenson (born April 22, 1960) is an American telecommunications executive. He is the current chairman, chief executive officer and president 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 a B.S. from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master of Accountancy from the University of Oklahoma.[1]

Stephenson 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.[3] Stephenson served as chairman of the Business Roundtable from 2014 to 2016.[4]

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.[5] King's suit against AT&T removed Stephenson as a co-defendant after an attempt to obtain his deposition in April 2016 failed.[6] The case against the remaining defendants was settled out of court in September 2016.[7]

Stephenson was named the 2016 CEO of the Year by Chief Executive magazine.[8]

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.[9]

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."[10]


He was the 36th National President of the Boy Scouts of America, serving from 2016[11] until 2018.[12] Stephenson, as well as fellow board member James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young, publicly opposed the BSA's former policy banning openly gay Scouts and stated their intention "to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress." The policy has been changed.[13][14]

Personal life[edit]

Stephenson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.att.com/gen/investor-relations?pid=7824
  2. ^ Moritz, Scott; Smith, Gerry (24 October 2016). "AT&T Dealmaker Is a Carlos Slim Protege With a List in Cloud". Bloomberg.com.
  3. ^ "WSJ on Randal Stephenson". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2012-09-15.
  4. ^ "AT&T Chairman & CEO Randall Stephenson Named Chairman of Business Roundtable" (Press release). Business Roundtable. September 18, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  5. ^ "AT&T Fires President Over Racist Text, $100M Lawsuit Goes On". cbslocal.com. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  6. ^ Case Number: BC579717 Knoyme King vs. AT&T Services Inc; et al. (5 April 2016). "Notice of Withdrawal of Demurrer; Defendant Randall Stephenson". Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles.
  7. ^ James, Meg (24 January 2017). "Former AT&T executive alleges he was a scapegoat in flap over a racist meme". latimes.com.
  8. ^ Donlon, J.P. (July–August 2016). "How Randall Stephenson Took AT&T Into the Future of Digital". Chief Executive (283): 28–36.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Drew FitzGerald (June 12, 2018). "AT&T Chief Gambled and Won Big". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  11. ^ "Randall Stephenson, AT&T CEO, elected BSA national president". 26 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Thank You, Randall Stephenson And Welcome, Jim Turley" (Press release). Boy Scouts of America. May 26, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  13. ^ Cobb, Joshua (July 17, 2012). "AT&T CEO commits to ending ban on gay Boy Scouts, leaders". Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "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
James Turley