Entertainment

AT&T CEO John Stankey Signals Exit From Entertainment, Telling Investors, “We’re Focused On Looking Forward”

AT&T CEO John Stankey Signals Exit From Entertainment, Telling Investors, “We’re Focused On Looking Forward”

John Stankey, who performed a central function in AT&T’s push into leisure earlier than shedding of these money-losing belongings as CEO, signaled a brand new day in his opening remarks on the firm’s investor day.

“Today, we’re focused on looking forward,” he mentioned. “We’re coming up soon on a big transition at AT&T: a more focused company, a more focused management team, a commitment to being the best with our resources aligned with that goal.”

For the final 18 months, “we’ve been positioning ourselves for this reality,” Stankey added, alluding to the spinoff of DirecTV and the approaching spin of WarnerMedia right into a merged entity with Discovery. The $43 billion Warner-Discovery deal is predicted to shut subsequent month. Last 12 months, AT&T accomplished the spin of DirecTV right into a stand-alone unit 30%-owned by personal fairness agency TPG.

Those ill-starred offers ended an unsuccessful foray into pay-TV and leisure, which wound up costing buyers tens of billions of {dollars}. With these belongings off of its steadiness sheet — plus various different divestitures, of anime model Crunchyroll and Latin American satellite tv for pc TV operator Vrio — the corporate will return to its telecom roots.

“After retrenching from entertainment, we have more work to do to differentiate our connectivity,” he mentioned. “We’re not talking about transformative M&A here. Instead, we’re focused on developing software and capabilities that lay on top of our network and optimize our connectivity value proposition.”

By the tip of 2023, the corporate mentioned it expects to succeed in $6 billion in run-rate value financial savings. By the tip of 2021, it reached greater than $3 billion in value financial savings, which it principally plowed again into the enterprise. Both spinoffs, in addition to the sale of different belongings, are serving to AT&T chip away at its internet debt, which was among the many highest of any non-bank firm after it closed the Time Warner acquisition in 2018. Total debt on the finish of 2021 was $177.4 billion, $152.8 billion of which is categorized as long-term debt.

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