The board of directors of AT&T Inc.* (NYSE:T, news, filings) has selected William E. Kennard to serve as its chairman, effective January 2021, upon the retirement of Randall Stephenson, currently AT&T’s executive chairman of the board.
AT&T announced earlier this year its plan to elect an independent chairman when Mr. Stephenson retired from the board in January, after serving as chairman since 2007. This change continues AT&T’s commitment to strong corporate governance.
Mr. Kennard served as general counsel to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission from 1993 to 1997. In 1997, he was appointed FCC Chairman, a position he held until 2001. From 2009 to 2013, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union.
Kennard also has held positions with The Carlyle Group, a global asset management firm, at which he led investments in the telecommunications and media sectors, and the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand (now DLA Piper), where he was a partner and member of the board of directors.
“Bill’s deep knowledge of communications, media and technology, proven leadership and broad experience across capital markets and government uniquely positions him to serve as AT&T’s new chairman,” Stephenson said. “He is an outstanding choice to lead our board of talented directors who possess diverse expertise and experience.”
“It’s an honor to be selected to serve as chairman of AT&T’s board of directors,” Kennard said. “On behalf of the board, I want to thank Randall for his outstanding leadership and countless contributions as chairman. We wish him all the best. I look forward to working with our CEO and fellow board member John Stankey and the entire board to continue creating long-term value for all stakeholders – investors, customers, employees and the communities we serve.”
Mr. Kennard joined AT&T’s board of directors in 2014. He currently serves on the corporate governance and nominating committee and the public policy and corporate reputation committee.
Kennard serves on the boards of Duke Energy Corporation, Ford Motor Company and MetLife, Inc. He is also co-founder of Astra Capital Management, a private equity firm.
Kennard received his B.A. in Communications from Stanford University and earned his law degree from Yale Law School. He currently serves on the board of trustees of Yale University.