AT&T Taps Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie to Lead Lobbying Efforts

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Ed Gillespie

The hiring of former George W. Bush aide caps a nearly two-year search for a permanent legislative affairs executive.

AT&T has hired Ed Gillespie, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee and an aide to President George W. Bush, to serve as senior executive vp for external and legislative affairs. In his new role, Gillespie will report to Randall Stephenson, the CEO of the telecom firm. 

Gillespie is no stranger to AT&T, having served as a consultant to the company for 20 years through Quinn Gillespie & Associates as well as Ed Gillespie Strategies. He most recently served as chairman of Sard Verbinnen & Co.'s public affairs group, and starts at AT&T on April 22.

The hiring of Gillespie caps a nearly two-year search for a permanent legislative affairs executive. In May 2018, AT&T's chief lobbyist Bob Quinn retired after it was revealed that he paid $600,000 to President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen.

Last year the company, which owns the entertainment giant WarnerMedia, brought back Jim Cicconi, who had led the company's legislative affairs division for years, on an interim basis.

"Ed will be a tremendous addition to our team with his wealth of public affairs experience and deep understanding of the public policy issues important to our customers, our economy and our company," said Stephenson in a statement. "I also want to thank Jim Cicconi for returning to lead the team over the past several months. He is one of the best around, a great friend and we all wish him well in retirement."