AT&T Communications Chief Donovan to Retire

AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan will retire as head of the phone company’s mobile, pay-TV and broadband unit on Oct. 1. AT&T said a replacement would be named “soon.”

“JD is a terrific leader and a tech visionary who helped drive AT&T’s leadership in connecting customers, from our 5G, fiber and FirstNet buildouts, to new products and platforms, to setting the global standard for software-defined networks,” said AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson in a press release. “He led the way in encouraging his team to continuously innovate and develop their skill sets for the future. We greatly appreciate his many contributions to our company’s success and his untiring dedication to serving customers and making our communities better. JD is a good friend, and I wish him and his family all the best in the years ahead.”

Donovan’s 11-year career with AT&T began in 2008 when he was named chief technology officer and was later promoted to chief strategy officer and group president of AT&T Technology and Operations. In July 2017 he was tapped to head the Communications unit, which serves more than 100 million mobile, broadband and pay-TV customers. On the pay-TV side, AT&T Communications includes its DirecTV satellite TV unit, Uverse, the DirecTV Now streaming video service and another streaming video offering -- AT&T TV -- that was launched in a few test markets earlier this month and should see a wider release in the fall. At the Credit Suisse conference in June, Donovan touted the new streaming product as a radical reshaping of the TV concept. 

“It’s been my honor to lead AT&T Communications during a period of unprecedented innovation and investment in new technology that is revolutionizing how people connect with their worlds,” Donovan said in a press release. “All that we’ve accomplished is a credit to the talented women and men of AT&T, and their passion for serving our customers. I’m looking forward to the future – spending more time with my family and watching with pride as the AT&T team continues to set the pace for the industry.”