After three months without a president, AT&T reshuffled its top brass last week and announced it is to axe two business units.
The former head of Hughes Electronics, Michael Armstrong, joined AT&T as chairman and chief executive, while the presidency was assumed by John Zeglis, who has been chief operating officer since July.
AT&T described the two units for the chop - credit card arm Universal Card Services and AT&T Solutions Customer Care - as "successful but not strategic". Their sale continues the telecom giant's ongoing process of returning to its core businesses, which featured the spin-off of NCR earlier this year.
AT&T Solutions Customer Care provides managed telemarketing and customer services for outsourcing clients.
The appointment of Armstrong brings an experienced hand to the helm of AT&T. Prior to joining Hughes, Armstrong spent 31 years at IBM, where he rose through the ranks from systems engineer to become senior vice president and chairman of the board of IBM World Trade Corporation. Armstrong replaced Bob Allen, who had been chairman and chief executive since 1988.
New president Zeglis, a lawyer who has been with AT&T since 1984, was given responsibility for operations even though he had little experience in this area when previous COO John Walter resigned in July. The AT&T board had voted against promoting him to chief executive and eventually chairman.
AT&T also posted a 15% drop in income of $1.2 billion (#750 million) on revenues of $13.4 billion.
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