updated 03:55 pm EDT, Mon March 31, 2008
ATT Pushing Out Execs
AT&T has been quietly been ushering out executives to drive its top-level costs down, say sources speaking with Om Malik. The telecoms firm has reportedly been offering severance packages to vice presidents in the company with threats of being demoted from their executive positions if they decline. The goal is to ultimately reduce the total number of executives and lower the company's overall payroll costs, according to the claims.
The reshuffling of senior staffers is believed to stem from worries that a struggling US economy will affect AT&T's own finances, though the alleged source did not explain what changes were primarily driving the company's concerns. AT&T has often been partly insulated from economic issues by offering essential phone services but may see customers scale back or disconnect more optional features such as high-speed Internet access and smartphone plans.
An additional report also suggests that the company is refocusing the executives it keeps, with former VeriSign executive John Donavon brought on to head up the carrier's network expansion while former USi head Andrew Stern has left the company relatively soon after AT&T acquired the company. No reasons have been given for these latest shifts.