2017 Game Changer: John Palmer
AT&T's first chief learning officer John Palmer made learning a key function in the major telephone company.
John Palmer was a longtime AT&T employee who became the company’s first chief learning officer in 2016 as CEO Randall Stephenson laid out plans to digitize a business that was entrenched in a legacy as a telephone company.
Palmer, 39, started with the company in the late 1990s managing call centers, and now focuses on learning, collaboration between departments and implementation of the 238,000-employee company’s reskilling to achieve Stephenson’s vision. Palmer’s team achieves this through AT&T University, which partners with Georgia Tech, University of Notre Dame, University of Oklahoma and for-profit education organization Udacity to offer employees specialized technical training.
Palmer’s passion for learning extends to his board membership with the Texas Rangers Association Foundation, where he helps ensure that children of state law-enforcement officers have funding to pursue higher education. The married father of three is also a mentoring lead for AT&T’s largest employee resource group, Women of AT&T.