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CEO典范!为什么说AT&T和时代华纳的CEO值得学习

Geoff Colvin 2018年06月25日

AT&T和时代华纳并购有什么不同寻常之处?请看笔者为大家细细分解。

美国联邦法官理查德·莱昂做出重大判决,批准AT&T和时代华纳的交易,这宗相当罕见的并购案也终于迎来满意的结果。两位优秀的CEO之所以决定并购,是因为认为此举有利于两家公司发展。美国司法部试图阻止交易时,他们做出了风险颇高的决定,在这场划时代意义的反垄断诉讼案中积极反击。现在看来,并购的计划将要成真。

但如果转念一想,按理说,这不是正常流程吗?这起并购有什么不同寻常之处?请看笔者为大家细细分解。

时代华纳的CEO杰夫·比克斯希望把公司卖出一个好价钱,在收购完成后卸任离开。而现在太多的CEO出于本能地抗拒收购,错误地将收购理解为零和游戏,总有一方赢一方输。而比克斯自2008年执掌时代华纳开始就异常明智,他非常通晓企业融资,认为自己最重要的任务是服务股东,而不是打造商业帝国。2009年他剥离了资本密集型业务时代华纳有线公司,2014年又将经营《财富》杂志等媒体的时代公司拆分出来。事实证明,这两步棋的确高明。在他任内,时代华纳的股价跑赢了标普500指数。

质疑者可能会反驳说,AT&T的收购要约才是推升时代华纳股价的重要因素。一点也没错,可这有什么问题?为股东创造价值本就有很多方式。

AT&T的CEO兰德尔·斯蒂芬森多年掌管巨无霸企业,很少有CEO像他一样擅长指挥大规模作战。2007年走马上任以来,他给AT&T下了简明的指令:“全面转向移动。”为了在全美范围内支持手机和其他移动通信设备(如汽车),他不惜在基础设施方面投入数千亿美元,几年内就可获得回报。当他发现媒体的内容和分发迅速趋于一致,就同意斥资约800亿美元收购时代华纳。美国司法部提起诉讼后,他无所畏惧地迎战。即使存在很多不确定性,他也决定追加上百万美元投入,耗时七个月,在法庭上抗争到底。

在这样一个动荡起伏的行业,我们很难预测这起并购未来结果会如何。可以肯定地说,两位CEO都尽职尽责。夸赞他们的行为多么罕有且值得称道不免令人汗颜,但事实就是如此。(财富中文网)

译者:Pessy

审稿:夏林?

Judge Richard Leon’s powerful approval of the AT&T-Time Warner deal is the satisfying resolution of a story we don’t see often enough. Two excellent CEOs decided to do something that was smart for both their companies. When the Justice Department tried to block the deal, they made the risky, high-stakes decision to fight back in the antitrust trial of the decade. Now it appears the deal will happen.

But wait—this is how things are supposed to work. So why is that unusual? Here’s why.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes was willing to sell his company at a good price and then leave when the deal closes. Way too many CEOs instinctively fight takeover bids, seeing them falsely as battles that one side will win and the other lose. But Bewkes, since becoming chief in 2008, has been that rare CEO who deeply understands corporate finance and who sees his role as serving shareholders rather than building an empire. He spun off capital-intensive Time Warner Cable in 2009 and spun off shrinking Time Inc. (the magazine operation that included Fortune) in 2014. Those were smart moves. Over his tenure, Time Warner stock has outperformed the S&P 500.

Skeptics might object that AT&T’s takeover bid was an important factor in pushing the stock up. Absolutely true—but what’s wrong with that? There are many ways of delivering value to shareholders.

AT&T chief Randall Stephenson has managed for the long term on a scale that few CEOs will ever contemplate. When he got the top job in 2007, he gave the company a two-word mandate: “Mobilize everything.” He has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure to support cell phones and other mobile communications devices (like cars) across the country. Those outlays will take years to pay off. When he saw media content and distribution converging rapidly, he agreed to pay about $80 billion for Time Warner. And when the Justice Department sued, he made the gutsy call to spend many more millions and seven months fighting for a highly uncertain outcome.

It would be crazy to predict how this combination will work out over coming years in such a volatile industry. What we can say for sure is that the CEOs behaved as CEOs are supposed to behave. It’s scandalous that their behavior is uncommon and noteworthy. But it is.

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