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AT&T Chief Laid Plans for His Exit. That Set Off an Activist Challenge. - The Wall Street Journal

Randall Stephenson, AT&T Inc.’s longtime boss, got an unexpected phone call Sunday evening from a hedge-fund manager at Elliott Management Corp., one of Wall Street’s biggest and most aggressive activist investors.

The call was brief and cordial, but behind it was a stinging rebuke of the telecom veteran’s mission to turn the phone company into a media giant and leave a top lieutenant to finish the job. Investor Jesse Cohn told Mr. Stephenson the hedge fund had concerns about AT&T’s strategy and execution, reflecting...


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