Diversity Leadership: Randall Stephenson, AT&T

Randall Stephenson
Chairman and CEO
AT&T


Growing up outside Oklahoma City, Randall Stephenson wasn’t really exposed to diversity until he went to college and was paired with a Black roommate. “I realized there was a whole breadth of experience and talent and capabilities that I had never been exposed to,” Stephenson told DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti. “It was a very eye-opening experience.”

Realizing the value of his own education, Stephenson is passionate about giving kids the opportunities they need to reach college. In 2008, he launched AT&T Aspire, a $100 million education initiative to address the high school dropout rate. In 2012, the company expanded the program and committed $250 million over five years. “If you don’t have a good, solid pipeline of diverse talent,” says Stephenson, “you won’t bring leaders up through the businesses that reflect the markets you serve.”

Prior to becoming CEO, Stephenson served as AT&T’s Chief Operating Officer and as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He started his career in 1982 with Southwestern Bell Telephone in Oklahoma and went on to hold leadership positions at SBC International including a stint in Mexico City as the company’s director of finance.

Stephenson earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and a master’s in accounting from the University of Oklahoma. He is a member of the executive committee of Business Roundtable and the executive board of Boy Scouts of America. He is also a member of the PGA Tour Policy Board. He chaired the corporate campaign of the NAACP in 20092010 and of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas in 20112012.

Latest News

Toyota Earns the Most R&D Patents Among Automakers in IPO Rankings for 8th Consecutive Year

Originally published at pressroom.toyota.com. Toyota ranked No. 7 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded Toyota more patents than any other automaker in 2021, according to an annual ranking by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). Toyota’s engineers…

Wells Fargo Announces New Initiative To Help Customers Avoid Overdraft Fees and Meet Short-Term Cash Needs

Originally published at newsroom.wf.com. Wells Fargo ranked No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Wells Fargo announced new efforts to limit overdraft-related fees and give customers more flexible options to meet their personal financial needs. These offerings, which include earlier access to direct deposits,…

multi race business woman

New Report Shows Significant Increase in Female and Black Representation in the Executive Boardroom

Diversity and inclusion appear to be successfully increasing among America’s largest and most successful companies. The finding comes from a new report conducted by executive recruiting firm Crist Kolder Associates as part of its review of DEI representation in executive offices. Ariel Zilber of the New York Post reported that…

Taco Bell

Taco Bell Creates Business School To Help Underrepresented Groups Become Franchise Owners

Taco Bell and the popular fast-food chain’s owner Yum! Brands have entered the DEI arena with a new business school designed to help people of all backgrounds — and people of color in particular — advance into restaurant ownership. Jonathan Maze of Restaurant Business reported that “a select group of…

LGBTQ dog tags

US Government Will Now Allow Veterans To Identify As Trans on Veteran Affairs Medical Records

In another giant leap forward for LGBTQ+ rights and equality in the military, the federal government has announced that military veterans can now officially identify as trans in their official medical records. Brody Levesque of the Los Angeles Blade reported that Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough has confirmed that veterans…