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Verizon picks Hans Vestberg to serve as new CEO
09 June 2018, 08:12 | Joann Bryant
Hans Vestberg will be the next CEO at Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc named Chief Technology Officer Hans Vestberg as its new CEO on Friday, surprising analysts and signalling the largest USA wireless company's priority is building the next-generation 5G network, not expanding further into media content.
He's to become CEO at Verizon, effective August 1.
Verizon Communications Inc. named Hans Vestberg as its next chief executive, choosing a relative newcomer to run the wireless giant at a time when its industry is being reshaped by megadeals. In fact, not long after Verizon announced Vestberg as CEO, it announced that Stratton, executive vice president and president of Global Operations, informed the company of his decision to retire from the company by the end of this year.
M. Frances Keeth, Lead Independent Director of Verizon's Board of Directors, said, "Verizon has a history of robust succession planning to ensure that the company is best positioned to deliver on our value proposition to all stakeholders".
Current Verizon CEO, Lowell McAdam, said in an interview it was the flawless time to hand the reins to Vestberg, with Verizon at an "inflection point" holding all the pieces it needs for 5G, such as fibre and spectrum.
Passed over for the job was John Stratton, president of global operations. Before joining Verizon, he worked at the networking and telecommunications company Ericsson, where he served six years as chief executive and president and also was chief financial officer.
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. The board's selection of the newcomer, who has been responsible for overseeing the deployment of next-generation 5G mobile services, signals the significance the company places on an emerging technology that will deliver faster internet connections and download speeds and play a critical role in a range of emerging technologies, including self-driving vehicles and internet connected devices.
In this role, he led more than 115,000 employees as the company transformed from a focus on hardware to software and services. Then in July 2016, Ericsson's board thanked Vestberg for his energy and leadership and said it was time for a new CEO to run Ericsson.
McAdam sought instead to diversify Verizon's business by investing in digital content.
Just two years ago, Vestberg was CEO of Ericsson as the vendor struggled to cut costs in the face of declining demand for its LTE infrastructure. He also led the acquisitions of major media, fiber and telematics assets, including AOL Inc., Yahoo!
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