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SBC Brass Dominates the New AT&T

The new AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) has started taking shape… and it looks a lot like the old SBC. (See SBC Names AT&T Top Team.)

SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) today announced its executive roster for the new carrier that will be formed when SBC's acquisition of AT&T is completed later this month. The new combined carrier will be called AT&T. (See SBC Becomes AT&T.)

There weren't many surprises in the announcement, but there was a noticeable omission: The man or woman charged with the combined company's technical direction hasn't yet been confirmed.

Ed Whitacre, chairman and CEO of SBC, will fill the same roles at the new AT&T.

Reporting to Whitacre will be James Callaway, president of the merger transition team; James Cicconi, the top lawyer at the old AT&T; James D. Ellis, senior VP and general counsel for SBC; Karen Jennings, SBC's human resources boss; James Kahan, SBC's corporate development chief; Rick Linder, SBC's chief financial officer; Forrest Miller, SBC's group president of corporate planning; Randall Stephenson, SBC's chief operating officer; and Rayford Wilkins, head of SBC's international operations, directory operations, and its Sterling Commerce subsidiary.

"This is a superior management team. They are the best in the industry, and I am confident they will do an outstanding job at this critical time in our company's history," said Whitacre in a prepared statement.

Not included in the "superior" team are former AT&T CEO David Dorman; former AT&T CTO Hossein Eslambolchi; AT&T's president Bill Hannigan; and Thomas Horton, AT&T's CFO.

Also, since SBC's announcement only dealt with executives that report to the CEO, the carrier hasn’t yet said whether it will keep John T. Stankey as its CTO, or whether some other executive will be charged with defining the new carrier's technical direction.

Calls to AT&T regarding Eslambolchi's employment weren't returned.

Dorman, however, was addressed in today's announcement. He will become president of the new AT&T and a member of the board of directors for a brief transition period. Then he'll retire from both jobs and will be a consultant to the company.

If they're terminated without cause after the merger is complete, then Dorman, Eslambolchi, Hannigan, and Horton are eligible, respectively, for severance packages of $10,275,000, $4,050,000, $6,459,750, and $4,676,250, according to SBC's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Dorman is likely eligible for a load more than that, as he'll get consulting fees and a salary for his short time as president of the new AT&T, in addition to other pre-arranged perks as part of his employment package.

"You should be aware that some of the directors and executive officers of AT&T have interests in the merger that are different from, or in addition to, the interests of AT&T shareholders," the company states in its SEC filings, with no apparent sense of irony.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

ruready 12/5/2012 | 2:54:25 AM
re: SBC Brass Dominates the New AT&T Hard to feel sorry for these guys with their golden parachutes. I do feel sorry for the countless workerbees that inevitably will be part of the 'synergy' and will lose their jobs with little more than a handshake.
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