As Facebook, Google and many others will readily tell you, mobile video is on the rise. More and more users are doing most of their watching on mobile, whether it’s YouTube videos, movies on Netflix or prime time television. A good number of tech and mobile companies are already responding to the shift – Facebook, for example, has begun upping their mobile video chops, while T-Mobile rolled out their controversial BingeOn initiative. AT&T has made a few efforts in the past to ramp up their focus on mobile video, but it seems they’ll be going whole-hog in the near future. A shuffling about of some of their leadership figures was just announced and seems poised to give them the unified front they need to approach mobile video in the same way they’ve been approaching everything lately; by becoming a one-stop shop.
The basic idea here is for AT&T to bring their mobile and video departments together and integrate them to encourage the development of solutions that will get more consumers to bundle. They aim to be a consumer’s only provider for TV, internet and wireless services. To that end, mobile head honcho Ralph de la Vega has been declared Vice Chairman while Internet, TV and DirecTV head John Stankey become the CEO of the mobile business’ entertainment group, while still heading up the departments he’s currently responsible for, making him the effective link between land and mobile services. The two of them will report directly to CEO Randall Stephenson, as always. De la Vega will also move closer to the company’s main headquarters in Dallas and take over most operations in Mexico and Latin America.
In order to really underscore the change, mobile CEO Glenn Lurie will be reporting to Stankey. Effectively, this means that Stankey’s land service expertise will be re-purposed to serve the company’s mobile front, while mobile whiz Lurie will be bouncing ideas off of Stankey. This move is quite big and some may say it’s a bit on the bold side, but is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg in AT&T’s bid to capitalize on the emerging trend that is mobile video.