How do you run a global monopoly into the ground? You overleverage your balance sheet on bad M&A deals, overcompensate your executives, and finally make sure you have an inept board of directors. Long suffering shareholders of AT&T sadly have been left on hold.
Yesterday morning Ma Bell decided to exit one of its largest recent M&A failures by spinning off its Time Warner division into a new company with Discovery. It also cut its sacrosanct dividend in half. Here is the full report from MarketWatch (click to enlarge):
While widows and orphans will be looking for their next meal with the dividend cut, ATT CEO John Stankey and most of the Board of Directors will be wining and dining over the next couple weeks at the AT&T Pro-Am (Palmer's Club on the 18th for $1000 each, Clint's Saloon $350.) After that perhaps a corporate retreat at the Aspen Institute. Or a leadership conference in Davos. Too bad nobody is minding the telephone booth back in Dallas.