AT&T’s (NYSE: T) board of directors has appointed William Kennard to serve as chairman, effective January 2021, the company announced Friday.. Kennard will succeed Randall Stephenson, currently AT&T’s executive chairman of the board, who will retire at the beginning of 2021.
“It’s an honor to be selected to serve as chairman of AT&T’s board of directors,” Kennard said. “On behalf of the board, I want to thank Randall for his outstanding leadership and countless contributions as chairman,” said Kennard.
Kennard, an independent chairman, will play a role in AT&T’s commitment to strong corporate governance. Throughout his career, he served as general counsel to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 1993 to 1997. Kennard was appointed FCC chairman in 1997 and served until 2001. He then served as the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union from 2009 to 2013.
“Bill’s deep knowledge of communications, media and technology, proven leadership and broad experience across capital markets and government uniquely positions him to serve as AT&T’s new chairman,” Stephenson said. “He is an outstanding choice to lead our board of talented directors who possess diverse expertise and experience.”
Additionally, Kennard served with The Carlyle Group, where he led investments in the telecommunications and media sectors. He also was a member of the executive leadership with the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, now DLA Piper. With the firm, Kennard served as a partner and member of the board of directors.
Kennard joined AT&T’s board of directors in 2014. He currently serves on the corporate governance and nominating committee and the public policy and corporate reputation committee. Kennard also serves on the boards of Duke Energy Corporation, Ford Motor Company and MetLife.
“I look forward to working with our CEO and fellow board member John Stankey and the entire board to continue creating long-term value for all stakeholders – investors, customers, employees and the communities we serve,” Kennard concluded.