& cplSiteName &

AT&T CEO Apologizes for Cohen Kerfuffle

Dan Jones
5/11/2018
0%
100%

AT&T's CEO has apologized for hiring Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen -- paying $600,000 into his shell company during 2017 for "insights" into the nascent administration -- calling it a "big mistake."

"To be clear, everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate," AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) CEO Randall Stephenson wrote in an internal memo on Friday to employees seen by Reuters. "But the fact is our past association with Cohen was a serious misjudgment."

Nonethless, AT&T's chief lobbyist, Bob Quinn, is retiring because of his role in hiring Cohen, who reportedly approached AT&T offering his services, according to sources cited by Reuters. (See AT&T Confirms Payments to Trump Lawyer's Shell Company.)

AT&T hired Essential Consultants LLC -- the firm set up by Cohen -- for advice on issues before the new administration. By far the most prominent was AT&T's proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), which candidate Trump had decried during the 2016 presidential campaign. The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice is attempting to block the merger and the case is now in court. (See AT&T Likens DoJ Suit to Shaved Persian Cat.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/19/2018 | 3:31:55 PM
Re: AT&T is also hiding items in their financials.
You're right. Amazing how many underlings get let go when corporate gets caught with it's hand in the cookie jar.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/14/2018 | 1:54:11 PM
Re: AT&T is also hiding items in their financials.
Sounds like maybe a couple more underlings are facing imminent "retirement."
Austin Idol
50%
50%
Austin Idol,
User Rank: Moderator
5/14/2018 | 10:46:28 AM
AT&T is also hiding items in their financials.
AT&T is also hiding items in their financials.
$234M for Acquisitions and $1.009B for Advances and Investments in Equity Affiliates.
No mention anywhere as to what these items are for.
Are they playing games with the Fibertower Transaction to avoid scrutiny for the corruption and corrupt Fibertower Bankruptcy?
Are they trying to hide getting into bed with Solus who had multiple off shore Cayman Island Shells?
$3.1B for Verizon and Straightpath but only $207M for AT&T and Fibertower with some funny items on the cash flow and balance sheet statements for Q1-2018.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
5/12/2018 | 2:05:43 PM
Re: Underside of the bus
Seems *possible* to me that none of their usual lobbyists had Trump access, so they took a punt on Cohen. He signed the deal on Jan 23rd, according to the Washington Post, so just as Trump was sworn in. Pretty amazing that no one said: "Wait, how would this guy know anything?"
Duh!
50%
50%
Duh!,
User Rank: Blogger
5/12/2018 | 1:15:51 PM
Re: Underside of the bus
Speculating here, but Stevens was probably blindsided by this.  $100k payments would require signature authority well up the food chain, and Quinn (or maybe even one of his direct reports) probably would have had it. As far as Stevens was concerned, Cohen's shell company could easily have been no more than a bullet item in a review meeting.

I sometimes think that these companies' DC offices exist in a bubble, isolated from the rest of the business and seeing the world through a Beltway filter. Not necessarily rogue, but certainly justifying their existence.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/12/2018 | 10:14:48 AM
Underside of the bus
The CEO takes full responsibility, and an underling gets to end his 25-year career at AT&T as a sacrificial speed bump. In other words, business as usual. I wonder if this was considered a big mistake and serious misjudgment before it became public.
Featured Video
Flash Poll
From The Founder
After almost two decades at Light Reading, it's time for a different optical adventure.
Upcoming Live Events
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 6, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
March 12-14, 2019, Denver, Colorado
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
MWCA Day 2 Recap: '5G' Rolls Out & We Roll On
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 9/14/2018
Apple: It's the End of the SIM as We Know It
Iain Morris, International Editor, 9/13/2018
MWCA Day 1 Recap: 5G Is Here…?
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 9/13/2018
So Long, & Good Luck With That
Steve Saunders, Founder, Light Reading, 9/14/2018
DT's Terastream: A Bigger Splash?
Iain Morris, International Editor, 9/13/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
One Size Doesn't Fit All – Another Look at Automation for 5G
By Stawan Kadepurkar, Business Head & EVP, Hi-Tech, L&T Technology Services
Prepare Now for the 5G Monetization Opportunity
By Yathish Nagavalli, Chief Enterprise Architect, Huawei Software
Huawei Mobile Money: Improving Lives and Accelerating Economic Growth
By Ian Martin Ravenscroft, Vice President of BSS Solutions, Huawei
Dealer Agent Cloud – Empower Your Dealer & Agent to Excel
By Natalie Dorothy Scopelitis, Director of Digital Transformation, Huawei Software
All Partner Perspectives