John Donovan is a prominent director and former CEO of AT&T Communications. He has over 30 years of experience in the technology sector, with his interests ranging from AI and quantum to hypersonic and high-performance computing. For over a decade, Donovan led AT&T in expanding the company’s overall innovation program. He oversaw the company’s global leadership in 5G, led the industry in the transition to software-defined technology, and successfully worked with application developers and others to make AT&T’s network open to collaboration and innovation.
Donovan currently serves as Lead Director for Palo Alto Networks. Additionally, he serves as Chairman of the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and also serves on the Board of Directors for Lockheed Martin.
As CEO of AT&T Communications, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT&T Inc, Donovan was responsible for the bulk of AT&T’s global telecommunications and video services businesses, including AT&T’s Business, Entertainment, and Technology & Operations groups.
Previously, Donovan served as Chief Strategy Officer and Group President – AT&T Technology and Operations. In that role, he led strategic planning for the company overall. Additionally, he led the company’s networks and technologies team, which drove AT&T’s global leadership in the technological transition to software-defined networking with a focus on virtualized or cloud-based network controls, as well as the company’s leadership in the move to 5G networks. In that role, he also oversaw the company’s global information, software development, supply chain, network operations, and big data organizations, as well as AT&T’s Intellectual Property group, Labs, and Foundries.
Prior to that, Donovan served as AT&T’s Chief Technology Officer, in which he oversaw the company’s global technology direction and innovation roadmap. Earlier in his career, Donovan served as Executive Vice President of product, sales, marketing, and operations at VeriSign Inc., an internet infrastructure company. He also was Chairman and CEO of inCode Telecom Group Inc., where he helped shape strategy for wireless carriers worldwide. Additionally, he was a partner with Deloitte Consulting, where he was the Americas telecom practice director.
Donovan received a B.S.E.E. from the University of Notre Dame and earned an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Minnesota. He has authored three books: The Value Enterprise (1998); Value Creating Growth (1999); and Building the Network of the Future: Getting Smarter, Faster, and More Flexible with a Software Centric Approach (2017). Donovan currently resides in Dallas, Texas.