AT&T’s Weaver abandons PR chief role

NEW JERSEY: AT&T global communications chief Connie Weaver is to step down before the end of the year.

Weaver, who holds the position of executive V-P of PR, marketing, and brand, said she had agreed her departure with CEO and chairman David Dorman in light of major changes at the telecoms firm.

It will not replace Weaver directly but has instead restructured its communications team.

Employee comms staff now report to human resources, while business-to-business PROs are accountable to chief marketing officer Kathleen Flaherty.

The four V-Ps who oversee PR – including public policy, financial comms, corporate comms and consumer PR – report to president and CEO of consumer services John Polumbo.

Weaver claimed that rather than signifying a demotion of the comms function, the changes raised the value of PR by ‘bringing it closer to the business. It will be less product-focused, more market-driven. This is where communications now belong’.

Weaver wrote in an email to her team: ‘Two years ago, we began a journey in an industry fraught with change and turmoil. We wanted to break down silos, become more externally focused and go on the offensive to reposition the new AT&T. And the team did just that.’

By focusing on services to businesses, AT&T is attempting to craft a new image as a technology leader and innovator. The company’s latest tagline is ‘The World’s Networking Company’.

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