A new protocol for the direct cobalt-catalyzed vinylation of aryl halides using β-halostyrene has been developed in order to form functionalized stilbenes. A variety of aromatic halides featuring different reactive group were employed. This method proceeded smoothly with a total retention of the double bond configuration in the presence of triphenylphosphine as ligand. Preliminary DFT calculations rationnalize these results and proposed a reaction pathway in agreement with the experimental conditions. This procedure offers a new route to the stereoselective synthesis of stilbenes. © 2012 American Chemical Society.