'Surprise' Verizon CEO Appointment Speaks to Fiber Focus

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam To Retire, With CTO Hans Vestberg Taking Over

Verizon names chief technology officer 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.

"Effective immediately, Stratton will step down from his current role and will support a smooth transition as a strategic adviser reporting to Lowell McAdam", Verizon said in a statement Friday.

Verizon executive Hans Vestberg speaks during a panel discussion on 5G wireless broadband technology during the 2018 CES in Las Vegas, Nev. on January 10, 2018. Stratton plans to retire by the end of the year.

Current CEO Lowell McAdam will serve as executive chairman through year-end, and non-executive chairman thereafter.

She writes that most surprising to her is the fact that president of global ops John Stratton wasn't included in the decision, even as many viewed him as the obvious choice to take over from McAdam.

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The appointment of Hans Vestberg indicates that the key strategy of Verizon, the number one telecom operator in the USA, will be in the building up of 5G, the next-generation of wireless network and not expanding into media content, Reuters reported. The Justice Department sued to block AT&T from buying CNN's parent company Time Warner (TWX).

Vestberg was CEO of Sweden's Ericsson for six years, focusing on growth over profit. Now Vestberg will lead the entire company. Mr. McAdam will remain executive chairman until the end of the year and then become nonexecutive chairman.

McAdam sought instead to diversify Verizon's business by investing in digital content. From 2007 to 2009, Vestberg served as Chief Financial Officer at Ericsson, and he previously served in a number of leadership positions at Ericsson, where he gained broad global experience and was instrumental in developing Ericsson's industry-leading services organization, which grew three-fold during his tenure. During his tenure, Ericsson could not make huge deals in line with Nokia, the telecom equipment maker from Finland.

Verizon said he led the acquisitions of major media, fiber and telematics assets, including AOL, Yahoo, XO Communications and optical fiber from Corning as well as divestment of wireline, tower and data center operations.

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