New AT&T CEO Says You're A Moron If You Don't Use AT&T Streaming Services
from the meet-the-new-boss dept
Last week AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson stepped down after his $150 billion bid to dominate the video advertising space fell flat on its face. Stephenson’s tenure was plagued by no shortage of scandals, though it was his failures on the TV front that likely cost him his comfy seat as one of the highest paid executives in America.
After spending $150 billion on several dubious megamergers (most notably the 2015 purchase of a satellite TV provider DirecTV), Stephenson saddled the company with an ocean of debt. So much debt it was forced to raise rates on customers in the middle of one of the biggest transformational shifts in the TV sectors in decades (cord cutting and the rise of streaming video). And while Stephenson deserves credit for at least trying to get out ahead of the trend, his tenure was pockmarked by a long line of dubious decisions that directly contributed to the company losing more than 3.2 million pay TV subscribers last year alone.
But Stephenson’s replacement, AT&T executive John Stankey, doesn’t seem much better. In a profile piece last week, Bloomberg described fairly idiotic and cocky recent comments by Stankey as “blunt.” Among them was the claim that “nobody knows as much about TV as me,” and the insistence that those who don’t subscribe to AT&T’s confusing assortment of discount TV streaming services must certainly be stupid:
“When pitching AT&T?s new HBO Max streaming platform, he told the audience that anyone unwilling to pay $15 a month for the service had a low IQ. At a town hall with HBO employees last year, Stankey said the network had to dramatically increase its programming output, comparing the work ahead to childbirth. Once, when a Time Warner veteran criticized an idea during a meeting, Stankey replied, ?I know more about television than anybody.”
Yeah, sounds like just the guy to right the ship, and earn employee and customer respect. Especially for a company plagued with no shortage of hubris that believed it could just bully, bullshit, and bribe its way to industry domination.
One of the major reasons Stephenson was ejected was courtesy of recently hyperactive hedge fund Elliott Management, which holds a massive stake in AT&T. Elliott complained that Stephenson had become megamerger happy and, despite eliminating 37,000 jobs to recoup merger debt (despite billions in regulatory FCC favors and a $42 billion Trump tax cut) wasn’t doing enough firing. Reports now suggest that Elliott didn’t much like Stankey either, but settled on him after external options proved even more underwhelming:
“Elliott, the hedge fund run by Paul Singer, remains skeptical of incoming CEO John Stankey?s decision-making but has decided his understanding of AT&T?s sprawling assets makes him a better candidate to take over for Stephenson than any external candidate, according to the people…Elliott was skeptical of Stankey?s decision-making as an architect of AT&T?s acquisitions of DirecTV and Time Warner. It advocated that AT&T focus on divesting assets and lowering debt, pushing the largest U.S. wireless company to sell DirecTV, one of the assets Stankey has steadfastly defended.”
In short nobody in this drama seems to know what they’re actually doing. Few were happy with AT&T’s previous leadership. And few seem happy with AT&T’s new leadership, who apparently thinks he’s a TV sector super genius, and you’re a moron if you don’t subscribe to AT&T’s generally underwhelming TV offerings. Surely this will all go swimmingly.
Filed Under: john stankey, randall stephenson, streaming, tv
Comments on “New AT&T CEO Says You're A Moron If You Don't Use AT&T Streaming Services”
How is it that Elliot Capital, which owns just about 1.5% of AT&T stock have such strong influence on the company? I mean, I get that is a lot of money, but having just that much of a company lets you PICK THE CEO? Are you kidding me?! What is going on here? America, Explain!
I think this has to do with Elliot’s credibility. Since they have taken over other companies, fixed their problems, and successfully boosted the stock price in past situations, other AT&T stock holders are easily willing to go along with Elliot and join forces. Meanwhile, the past AT&T leadership hadn’t exactly had a good track record in recent years.
"What is going on here?"
Picture a boardroom. Picture that around the table of this boardroom you’ve got the major shareholders (owning 95% of the company) who are all ruthless bastards willing to sell their mothers for a chance to pull a fast one on the next guy at the table.
Time comes to vote for a CEO. Do you choose the voting blocks governed completely by the opposition? Get blackballed when trying to present your own stooge? Or do you get yourself a gentleman’s agreement to pick that one guy no one else has in their camp already?
It’s a bit like US lawyers vetoing out jurors.
I'm a moron
Re: I'm a moron
I’m a moron too: for living in an area not served by AT&T.
"comfy seat as one of the highest paid executives in America"
I was told that these high flying captains of industry are compensated at levels that will insure they are immune to corruption – LOL.
Yes, I’m serious. That is what some call education, I prefer to call it propaganda. One would think that if you are bad at your job, you will be let go. I guess that does not apply at the top levels of corporations.
Oh well, the cream raises to the top huh. Cream of the crop they said. More like the good ol’ boy network.
Well, in a sceptic tank, scum rises to the top. And since we’re talking about AT&T, that seems to be a more accurate analogy than one involving fresh milk.
Re: Re: You say sceptic, I say septic ...
I would hope that in sceptic tank, the truth rises to the top, but this is the USA right …
Re: Re: Re: You say sceptic, I say septic ...
Damn autocorrect strikes again.
Re: Re: Re:2 You say sceptic, I say septic ...
Or not. This is the US we’re talking about. Being a sceptic IS considered septic.
Re: Re: Re: You say sceptic, I say septic ...
Problem with that,
Is that the Fatty material tends to Float First..and hardly decays..
Re: Re: Re:
Oh just say it already, "Cream of the Crap".
It’s not like AT&T’s customer service has ever improved with their begrudging move to streaming. With arrogantly stupid comments like that of its new CEO on top, its pretty much a great idea to just ignore their streaming service along with their other services and watch them strangle themselves with debt for their hubris.
Goddammit, we at AT&T are not gonna let Comcast claim the #1 rank for customer service again!
I am even more relieved that I sold my att stock weeks ago
There are three types of investors.
Those who hold long expecting the company to deliver. Most companies work hard to return these stockholders’ investments.
Those who hold short expecting the stock price to soar as others come to buy it. Some companies suck up to these stockholders… but it’s so ephemeral and against the previous goals it’s tough to do.
People who know nothing about investing and think the company actions in 2020 has anything to do with their divesting weeks ago. That’s you.
Thanks for selling. The stock market needs less short-sighted people who are "relieved [they] sold [their] stock weeks ago." Stop playing stock market and go get a job where your whimsical fancy of which-stock-buy-or-sell-today hurts real people.
That’s the problem with today’s US stock market — anyone thinks they can play "Day Trader" but the end result is companies working to get that immediate gain and trading off the longer term gain. The stock market came about as a result of companies wanting capital for the LONG game, not the "oh I sold it off yesterday so I’m so….. relieved" short-term players.
If you have to ask, it’s not your game.
Re: Re: Re:
"That’s the problem with today’s US stock market…"
I thought the main problem with the stock market of today was that supercomputers do the main amount of trading by far with the sole goal of turning 100 USD shares into 101 USD shares in moments.
Re: Re: Re:
It’s unlikely day traders (meaning individuals doing day trades) have a significant effect on the stock market or the companies in it.
Just another service I won’t be signing up for, I must be an idiot.
Because what that company really needed was a kid in charge
Insults potential customers for not being stupid enough to want their garbage product at inflated rates, gets angry and defensive any time someone questions him and tries to defend himself by boasting about how much smarter he is than anyone around him…
Look, I get that having someone like that in a position of authority is in fashion these days, but that doesn’t make it any less stupid a thing to do. Sometimes not following the trend is the better choice, and this is very much one of those times.
Re: Because what that company really needed was a kid in charge
This is typical for Mr Stephenson and his brother. Both are bullies and have always used their mouth to get them places. So why does this not surprise me. He and his brother are living morons!
‘gets angry and defensive any time someone questions him and tries to defend himself by boasting about how much smarter he is than anyone around him…
Look, I get that having someone like that in a position of authority is in fashion these days’
Well, this is America and someone like that could go very far, right to the top perhaps.
‘New AT&T CEO Says You’re A Moron If You Don’t Use AT&T Streaming Services’
a better comment would be
‘you’d be a twat if you did use ‘AT&T Streaming Services’!
In the UK, maybe.
I don’t see his point.. Even assuming we take his statement at face value and say everyone who doesn’t subscribe is a moron.. How does that help anything for them?
Do they not want morons on their service? Are they only interested in attracting more intelligent people to their service or something? It’s a TV Streaming service for goodness sake it shouldn’t require an IQ test to subscribe..
Anyone who thinks this blowhard will be good for the company is a …
Never mind. Forget I said anything. Picture me sinking back to the depths.
I wonder if John Oliver will have more snide comments about his "business daddy" on the next episode.
Can we prove it?
" (despite billions in regulatory FCC favors .."
I would Love to be able to show WHO got the money, but this can be no more then an opinion.
I hate the thought of Major corps doing the least to get more. I think there is a Story about the Landline connections controlled by ATT. And it aint good.
Even GE is forgetting WHO we are.
Re: Can we prove it?
For allthe money GIVEN to this company to do the better things and improve the economy..
LETS take the tax breaks away..
The money we gave you WAS A LOAN…
This is all virtual goods, and Once sent out you can never get them back..
Stankey's command of knowledge
"nobody knows as much about TV as me"
That would be "nobody knows as much about TV as I", Stankey.
Likely his knowledge of English and his knowledge of TV reached their zenith (acme?) somewhere around third grade.
So I’m a moron for not paying $15/mo for HBO. Even ignoring the possibility of alternative methods of obtaining HBO’s content, why would I? AFAIK, I’ve never watched a HBO show–I know I’ve never watched Game of Thrones, and that’s the only title that comes to mind. So why would I want to pay $15/mo for access to a network I’ve never needed or wanted before?
But whats strange is that its $15 to the cable company, who pays for every person subscribed… And HBO gets $??
then when you go direct to HBO, they still want $15, directly??
If they charged $1 per person per month on the net, Millions would Jump to it.
But then they would add, Pay per view, and Video on demand, and charge extra..
And millions per month would probably not even pay the CEO wages.
The whole point of cable-cutters
How did cable-cutters become a thing? As one, I’ll tell you. It’s because [as TD has said many times before] I don’t know if I want my $15 to go to HBO and my $20 to go Netflix and my $10(/mo) to go to Amazon Prime and ON TOP OF THAT pay Comcast $100 just to access these very same things.
When I say "I don’t know" I’m suggesting I do know — I want NONE of them to get these funds. If I download these shows and watch them myself (Kodi, XBMC, PMS, whatever) I can
Re: The whole point of cable-cutters
Wath on your own schedule.
Long ago gave up on paying to watch tv. Seemed more and more were idiot shows, constant reruns, and reality shows that actually had little to do with reality. So I dropped cable along with the monthly cost many years ago. Then came digital and I dropped tv all together.
I recently bought another tv and hooked it to an antenna. I don’t watch much tv any more and rarely a show. Mostly it’s used for local news and background noise.
I also dropped AT&T services when they started jacking rates and changing terms to gain more money. Their service is atrocious to put it on it’s best perspective.
At this point it is beyond me why I would want to pay anything for any tv program since I’m not much interested anymore. $15 is far beyond what I am willing to pay just for the privilege of it just sitting there unused.
Just give me six months in that job and I bet I can (start to) turn that company around.
Previous experience: None
Assets: My PC and my hi-fi
All I need is a chance. And if it doesn’t work out, I’ll even give 99% of my pay back (would be 100% but I need to live and I have no money). I believe I could do it.
No shank you
I’d even get the customer service fixed – top priority!
When a CEO calls me a moron
When a CEO calls me a moron, it really makes me want to do business with them and their company. Nothing encourages me more to do business with a company than when their CEO calls me a moron. Calling customers or potential customers is a time honored business tragedy.
Being called a moron is so... inviting.
When I owned my own business friends would say "Oh, you’re so lucky you don’t have a boss!" I had hundreds of bosses… we called them "customers" and if we weren’t polite, professional, and attended to their needs they fired us.
Sometimes even when we did everything right we’d get fired… because they were "reorganizing" and "money is tight" and "contracts only mean as much as you’re willing to pay a lawyer to litigate."
For a CEO of a public-serving corporation to call his customers morons is the height of … hubris. I can’t imagine anyone in a high office in this land calling people morons /s
You Can't Make Up This Stuff
Childish, I know, but his name is "Stanky"?!
That reminds me of somebody else… Who could that ever be?
Oh wait! That guy!
The real Randall Stephenson comes out
This is typical for Mr Stephenson and his brother. Both are bullies and have always used their mouth to get them places and take advantage of people, whenever they felt like it fit their amusement. So why does this not surprise me. He and his brother are living morons!
how to tell if a libra woman likes you
well written articles April 29
Online home business ideas For Beginners
Home best business articles April 29, 2007
want to start an online home business, But have no experience and do not know the place to start? As a beginner item for the groomsmen start your own online home business. you can obtain a ready made inco.
Read the Entire ArticleCar Number Plates from european union.
Autos , 2007
Although there are many new harmonisation laws across the european union, Each country still has its own unique way of identifying automobiles registered in each country. really common element is.
Scott l. Patterson
4 First Date Questions Which Build Instant drawing card
Dating Advice , 2007
Your first date plays the main step towards building a great relationship. in this post,we’ll, Learn how you can ask certain questions which will help uou build instant attraction on your first da.
WoW Guide Becoming Addicted to an casino game
gaming Articles April 29, 2007
One might watch some TV at dusk, Watch their best series on their computer, Yet others take risking potential giving WoW a try. this is where it all starts.
Read full ArticleWhy Get the HD DVR Receiver
dialogue Articles April 29, 2007
As one of the leading providers of satellite tv programming, Direct TV guarantees you do enjoy only the best. This is <a href=https://www.bestbrides.net/what-to-expect-when-marrying-a-filipina/>what to expect when marrying a filipina</a> the reason why they offer the latest in satellite tv for pc techno.
Read the general ArticleWhat’s So Great About Direct TV and HD Anyway
correspondence Articles April 29, 2007
The electronic revolution that started at the second half of the 20th century is still revolutionizing the first decade of the 21st century. There are still inventors coming out with the latest and mo.