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AT&T Brings in New CTO

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is bringing in an outsider to take over as chief technology officer. John Donovan has been appointed to the position to replace Chris Rice who will take on the new role of executive vice president of shared services. (See AT&T Appoints CTO.)

Donovan comes to AT&T from VeriSign Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN), where he was executive vice president of product, sales, marketing, and operations. AT&T says that they’ve chosen to bring in Donovan because he “brings the vision and expertise to help deliver the next evolution of converged services.”

With AT&T’s stated goal in mind, it’s worth noting Donovan’s background as an executive of an Internet services company. AT&T is in the middle of upgrading customers to its all-IP U-verse network over which it plans to deliver advanced next-generation services in hopes of significantly differentiating itself from the rest of the pack.

In delivering these advanced services to consumers, telcos are recognizing the need to collaborate with and add value to third-party application creators in order to achieve this. (See Telcos Show Their Google Envy.) AT&T could see Donovan’s experience at a third-party company such as Verisign as an asset in this area.

Donovan will report to AT&T’s president of telecom services John Stankey. Former CTO Rice will be responsible for supply chain and fleet operations, corporate real estate, global Internet data center operations, and telecom operations support in his new role. He will continue to report to Stankey as well.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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