AT&T (NYSE:T) CFO Rick Lindner is retiring in June, and will be replaced by AT&T Controller John Stephens. Lindner presided over several major AT&T acquisitions, and helped transform AT&T into the country's largest telecommunications firm.
Lindner, 56, has been the finance chief of AT&T since 2004, and was formerly CFO of Cingular Wireless. Stephens has been with AT&T for 19 years and will take over June 1; he has been responsible for financial reporting, business planning and accounting policy.
Lindner is the voice of AT&T during its quarterly earnings conference calls. He shepherded the company through its 2007 merger with BellSouth and a number of other transactions, including AT&T's $944 million acquisition of Centennial Communications, which netted AT&T around 893,000 wireless subscribers. AT&T also agreed in December to buy the 700 MHz spectrum Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) used for its defunct FLO TV service for $1.925 billion.
Lindner is the latest in a string of C-level executives to leave the mobile space. Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) picked Qwest Communications CFO Joseph Euteneuer to be its new CFO, succeeding Bob Brust, who will retire later this year. Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) last year named Lowell McAdam, the former CEO of Verizon Wireless, as its COO. McAdam replaced Denny Strigl who retired at the end of 2009. In addition, T-Mobile USA brought in Philipp Humm to replace Robert Dotson as CEO.
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