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AT&T's 5G Figurehead Arnoldi Shifts to Vrio, Ma Bell's LatAm Pay-TV Unit

Melissa Arnoldi is no longer president of Technology and Operations at AT&T -- now she's head of the operator's Latin American entertainment unit, Vrio.

Dan Jones

August 23, 2018

2 Min Read
AT&T's 5G Figurehead Arnoldi Shifts to Vrio, Ma Bell's LatAm Pay-TV Unit

AT&T stalwart Melissa Arnoldi has shifted roles within the operator, relinquishing her job as head of technology to become the CEO of the operator's Vrio Corp. subsidiary, a Latin American entertainment unit that delivers DirecTV services to mainly South American countries.

Arnoldi, who has been with AT&T since January 2008, was until very recently president of Technology and Operations at AT&T Mobility LLC , a position she held for around a year, having taken over from John Donovan. Prior to that, she was AT&T's President of Technology Development, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Taking over as president of Technology and Operations is 21-year AT&T veteran Jeff McElfresh, who has basically swapped roles with Arnoldi, as he was most recently... the CEO of Vrio!

During the past year, Arnoldi has been the leading voice and face for AT&T's 5G strategy. (See AT&T's Arnoldi: 5G Does More Than Quench the Need for Speed, AT&T Tests in Austin: 5G High & Rising, For AT&T, 5G Is a City Kitty, Not a Residential Fat Pipe and 5G in the USA: Where We at With Mobile?)

Here she is below presenting the operator's latest 5G pitch at this year's BCE in Austin:

Now she's in charge of a business with 13.5 million customers in 11 countries and territories across South America and the Caribbean. AT&T dropped plans to take the unit public in April 2018. (See AT&T Axes IPO of DirecTV Biz in Lat-Am.)

She is the latest tech-oriented senior executive to be handed a CEO role at a dedicated AT&T unit: John Donovan, who was CTO and then head of strategy as well as president of Technology and Operations, was appointed as CEO of AT&T Communications in late July 2017. (See AT&T Expects Mobile 5G in 'Parts' of 12 Markets by Year's End.)

Arnoldi is currently listed as being based in Dallas. AT&T has not yet answered questions about whether she will relocate.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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