NEW YORK — AT&T Corp. Chief Executive David Dorman confirmed expectations Thursday that he would not stay on long after AT&T's acquisition by SBC Communications Inc., opting for $10.3 million in severance pay and a lucrative consulting contract rather than a subordinate post at the combined company.
Dorman, 51, also chairman of AT&T, will serve as president of the merged company and a member of its board "for a brief transition period," after which he will resign from both positions, SBC said.
Edward E. Whitacre Jr., SBC's chairman and CEO, is slated to hold both posts at the combined company, which will be assuming the AT&T corporate name and brand.
Randall L. Stephenson, Whitacre's top deputy and heir apparent before the deal was announced, appears poised to retain those distinctions despite the initial suggestion that he would hold a post subordinate to Dorman after the merger. Stephenson, 45, will hold the same title at the new AT&T, chief operating officer.
"Dave made it clear that he wanted to be considered as Ed's successor, and that's not going to happen according to the SBC board's management succession plan," AT&T spokesman Andrew Backover said. "Dave respects the board's decision, wishes the new AT&T the very best and will work hard to make the transition a smooth one."
In addition to the severance pay, Dorman will receive early access to $17.7 million worth of options and shares that he would have received over several years, based on the $19.71 value assigned to AT&T's shares in the SBC merger agreement. But he also will forfeit $7 million of performance-based stock.
Rick Lindner, SBC's current chief financial officer, will serve as finance chief after the merger. All but one of the other top posts at the new company also are going to SBC executives.