Verizon Names Vestberg as New CEO


Mr. Vestberg, who joined the company about a year ago and is its chief technology officer, will succeed longtime CEO Lowell McAdam on August 1.

Vestberg, 52, joined Verizon just more than a year ago, coming from a six-year stint Sweden's networking and telco giant Ericsson.

At Verizon he headed a team building out Verizon's fiber network infrastructure, and he will lead Verizon in a strategy that differs markedly from wireless rival AT& which is battling with the US Justice Department to acquire media company Time Warner in an $85 billion deal.

Some analysts had expected John Stratton, Verizon's president of global operations, to succeed McAdam. Lowell McAdam will be remaining as the non-executive chairman of the company.

Current CEO Lowell McAdam, 64, will step down on August 1, seven years after he took the helm of the company. He will continue as executive chairman of the board through his retirement from the company at the end of the year, Verizon said, at which time he will become non-executive chairman. He will remain as non-executive chairman after that.

Hans Vestberg had served as the CEO at Ericsson for a long time but had stepped down in 2016 after the company had hit a rough patch.

Vestberg is also one of the founding members of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Broadband Commission for Digital Development. It has returned over Dollars 54 billion to shareholders in cash dividends.

The shuffle of leadership has come up due to the critical change in the wireless industry as Verizon and it's competitors are racing to bring in 5G coverage and prove the network superiority.

One of McAdam's signature deals was Verizon's $130 billion buyout of Vodafone's 45% stake in the USA wireless company, a deal which gave the company full access to the profits from its mobile operations and the resources to invest in its mobile network and fend off challengers.

Under McAdam, Verizon bought AOL and Yahoo. Verizon set the standard with the nation's largest and most reliable 4G LTE network and the broadest, fastest and most advanced next-generation network in the world.

Verizon is serious about 5G.

McAdam informed Verizon employees of this succession plan earlier today in a video message that can be viewed here. The shares closed in NY at $13.88, up 22 cents. The company operates America's most reliable wireless network and the nation's premier all-fiber network, and delivers integrated solutions to businesses worldwide.