Jeff McElfresh takes over AT&T’s 5G build-out

AT&T's Jeff McElfresh, left, takes over from Melissa Arnoldi, right. (AT&T)

AT&T confirmed that Jeff McElfresh will take over command of AT&T’s Technology and Operations division. He takes over from Melissa Arnoldi, who will move over to head up AT&T’s Vrio subsidiary in Latin America, which sells DirecTV services to South American countries.

McElfresh is a 21-year veteran of AT&T and most recently served as the head of AT&T’s Vrio business. Thus, he essentially switched roles with Melissa Arnoldi within AT&T. The carrier noted that the change-up is more of a lateral change and is not necessarily a promotion or demotion for either executive. Both executives will remain based in Dallas. 

AT&T’s Technology and Operations division houses the company's AT&T Labs unit, as well as it's 5G build-out efforts. Despite the change in leadership in AT&T Technology and Operations, most of the rest of the unit remains unchanged. Andre Fuetsch continues to run AT&T Labs, Marachel Knight continues to lead the company's physical 5G build-out efforts and Gordon Mansfield continues to act as the carrier’s VP of RAN and device design.

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceWireless!

The Wireless industry is an ever-changing world where big ideas come along daily. Our subscribers rely on FierceWireless as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data on this increasingly competitive marketplace. Sign up today to get wireless news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

AT&T has promised to launch mobile 5G services in a dozen cities by the end of this year. 

Importantly, McElfresh also overseas AT&T's move to software-defined networking. The operator has said that it plans to virtualize fully 75% of its network operations by 2020. 

AT&T said McElfresh "oversees the company’s global information, software development, network and cybersecurity operations, and chief data office organizations, as well as AT&T’s Intellectual Property group, Labs and Foundries."

The changes follow the close of the operator’s acquisition of Time Warner. That transaction dramatically changed the management structure of AT&T. Following the close of AT&T’s purchase, the carrier broke out its business into four different divisions all overseen by Randall Stephenson. The operator’s four divisions are:

  • Advertising & Analytics: Brian Lesser, CEO

  • Communications: John Donovan, CEO

  • Media: John Stankey, CEO

  • International: Lori Lee, CEO

John Donovan oversees AT&T’s Technology and Operations division. John Donovan's direct reports include:

  • Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Business

  • Bruce Byrd, chief legal officer

  • Fiona Carter, chief brand officer

  • David Christopher, president of AT&T Mobility & Entertainment Group

  • Daniel Fete, chief financial officer

  • Susan Johnson, executive vice president of Global Connections and Supply Chain

  • Joan Marsh, chief regulatory and state external affairs officer

  • Jeff McElfresh, president of AT&T Technology & Operations

  • Rasesh Patel, senior executive vice president for Digital, Retail & Care

  • Scott Smith, chief human resources officer

  • Daniel York, senior executive vice president and chief content officer

Arnoldi’s move was first reported by Light Reading.

Suggested Articles

An Ericsson exec said it's not fair to compare LTE with DSS. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison.

Nokia is not commenting on reports it's looking at asset sales or possible merger activity.

Dell Technologies’ branding and messaging has finally become more clear. And on the technology side its 5G and RAN visions are starting to solidify.