Jeff McElfresh named COO at AT&T

Having shed its media properties, AT&T is laser-focused on its 5G and fiber strategy, and that means new executive appointments to support AT&T CEO John Stankey.

Jeff McElfresh, previously CEO of AT&T Communications, was named chief operating officer and will continue to report to Stankey. 

Jeff McElfresh AT&T
Jeff McElfresh 

Back in 2019, McElfresh was named CEO of AT&T’s Communications unit, replacing John Donovan, who retired. Prior to that, McElfresh had been head of the technology and operations group that housed the company’s 5G buildout initiatives. He also oversaw AT&T’s shift to software-defined networking and virtualization efforts.

Others joining Stankey’s existing leadership team will be Jeremy Legg, chief technology officer, and Kellyn Kenny, chief marketing and growth officer. Their titles will remain the same.

Thaddeus Arroyo, who previously served as CEO of AT&T’s Consumer business, is now chief strategy and development officer.

Arroyo is an AT&T veteran – he was with Cingular Wireless – and in 2016 was picked to head up AT&T Business after the retirement of Ralph de la Vega.  

The executive appointments were announced internally; a company spokesman confirmed the changes to Fierce via email.

In his message to employees, Stankey emphasized the company’s investments in 5G and fiber and the need to “accelerate the momentum” they’ve created over the last seven quarters.

“You’ve heard me say that we are at the dawn of a new age of connectivity. The world is changing in our favor, and we must make the most of this moment. Investment in what we do best is critical, but we also must make sure we are set up to move at pace with change,” he told employees.

“To do this, we are making adjustments to our management team. These changes are designed to remove barriers to our business, enhance our creative capability, and focus on fewer but better products for today’s market,” Stankey added.

AT&T just reported its first-quarter results on Thursday, topping most analysts’ expectations with 691,000 postpaid phone net adds.

During the past year, AT&T divested its DirecTV interest and spun off its Warner Media division. Taking those divestitures into account and other one-time expenses, the standalone AT&T’s earnings rose from 58 cents in Q1 2021 to 63 cents in Q1 2022.