In the last few days, John Stankey, the CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group, has been mentioned all over the news. In fact, any time AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner is discussed, rumors run rampant that Stankey will become the CEO of the entertainment powerhouse’s new division. While this has yet to be confirmed by AT&T, all indications are that he will be named CEO in the upcoming weeks, whether alone or in a shared position with current Chief Strategy Officer John Donovan. Regardless of what decision is made, here are 5 things you didn’t know about the high-powered executive John Stankey.
1. He believes that original content is the key to AT&T standing out among the competition.
In February 2017, Stankey appeared before the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, discussing his belief that compelling content is an absolute necessity for success. He also mentioned the importance of AT&T utilizing the latest video-related innovations to improve the viewer’s experience. This includes integrating professionally produced content with augmented reality or virtual reality services, personalized methods of watching live events and sports, and short-form programs that have optimized for viewing on mobile devices.
He finished up by saying, “It’s the customer’s world, and we are just living it.” Essentially, he wants to give us higher-quality programs to choose from and better ways to view them.
2. He is well compensated in his current CEO role.
Stankey makes considerably more than the average public executive, as well as his fellow executive colleagues at AT&T. In early 2017, AT&T revealed in its annual proxy statement to the SEC that Stankey had earned $9,034,333 in his role as CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group for the fiscal year ending in 2016. This consists of equity, cash compensation, and other. The only two AT&T employees who earned more than him were former Vice Chairman Ralph de la Vega ($10,562,451) and Chairman Randall Stephenson ($24,959,412). There is no word on how much he will earn if he takes this new position.
3. He routinely makes donations to members of the Republican Party.
For years, Stankey has contributed to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), a committee which works to ensure Republican elections to the U.S. House of Representatives. He also contributes to individual campaigns. For example, in 2016, he donated $11,650 to various campaigns, including the NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee), the NRCC, and Friends of John Thune, a Republican Senator from South Dakota.
4. He learned how important business decisions really are as a teen.
In high school, Stankey worked part time at a sporting goods store. While there, he often watched the store’s owner work to balance payroll and other financial obligations, while still making sure to support his own family. He has said, “Watching that left a very strong impression on me about how decisions are made on what you can and can’t do in a business.”
5. He serves on a variety of corporate boards and non-profit committees.
Stankey currently serves as the Director of Otter Media and UPS’s corporate boards, positions he has held since 2014. Previously, he serves as the director of the board for 2Wire, Inc., a holding company that provides broadband services and software. As far as non-profits, he is currently the Director of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association and is a member of the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Previously, he served as Director of the Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation.