Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

At&t Hires outside President

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

At&t Hires outside President

Article excerpt

AT&T Corp. reached outside the telecommunications industry for a new president, picking the chairman of Yellow Pages printer R.R. Donnelley & Sons to lead the company amid stiff competition from all sides.

AT&T chose John R. Walter for the company's No. 2 job and made it clear that he will succeed chairman Robert E. Allen, who plans to step down in 1998. The choice ended some anxious speculation on Wall Street and beyond.

Walter, 49, seemed energetic and confident as he faced the media Wednesday at a news conference to announce his appointment. "All anyone really knows about AT&T's future is it will be radically different from the present, and clearly from the past," he said. "So to assume a leadership role at AT&T is really the opportunity of a lifetime." Wall Street was somewhat less excited about AT&T's choice to fill the key vacancy, which was created when Alex J. Mandl caught the industry unaware and abruptly resigned in August. AT&T's shares were off about 5 percent on the news of Walter's appointment. …

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