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The FCC fined the company 0 million last year for the debacle.
And, the jury is still out on Stephenson’s performance atop the FCC’s newly created Robocall Strike Force.
Earlier this year, Stephenson took a meeting with a Dallas Morning News columnist to discuss a binder filled with more than 100 days of gripes from customers and employees.
He followed Edward Whitacre, who’d served as CEO of AT&T and its preceding companies for 17 years.
More recently, Stephenson has been pushing AT&T beyond the telecom industry and redefining it as a technology giant.
Meanwhile, it continues to debut developments spurring from its Direc TV acquisition and to brainstorm future products with Time Warner.
“I think we have something here that’s going to find a sweet spot in the market, and managing this technology transition and service transition is going to be a big deal for us,” Stephenson said about AT&T’s foray into video at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia Conference in September.
Stephenson’s job description could easily be whittled down to two words: problem solver.
His list of current and upcoming AT&T problems includes a bad reputation for customer service, burdensome regulations, and an increasing number of competitors. Although many who know him hold him in high regard, Stephenson gets mixed reviews when it comes to his customers.
AT&T now competes with the likes of technology giants Google and Facebook, entertainment and media companies, plus smaller nimble innovators.
“The convergence, in terms of media and distribution, is happening fast,” Stephenson said in October on an AT&T analysts call about the proposed purchase of Time Warner. We don’t want to be chasing it.” Stephenson seems to have recognized the rising competition early on, based on the list of companies he’s acquired since taking the helm. The CEO reportedly keeps a spreadsheet of 40 to 45 companies on his tablet, sources recently told Bloomberg.
His latest efforts have led AT&T to take on streaming and mobile video, with its proposed .4 billion blockbuster purchase of Time Warner Inc., expected to close at the end of 2017, and the .5 billion acquisition of Direc TV last year.