Verizon appoints new CEO as it prepares for a 5G future

11 June, 2018, 03:30 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • John Stratton Verizon

Vestberg's rise is a clear indication that Verizon, the biggest USA wireless carrier, is prioritizing its network as it tries to take the lead in the race for faster networks known as 5G.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam plans to retire from the company at the end of this year, and his successor will be Hans Vestberg, whose titles now include CTO, executive vice president, and president of global networks. Verizon named McAdam as CEO on August 1, 2011, and chairman on January 1, 2012. He pioneered the success of Verizon's switch to 4G LTE and has staged the company's plans to build a 5G wireless broadband network. Vestberg had previously been CEO and president of Ericsson for six years.

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.

"The time for a change in leadership is now, and I am confident that Hans is the right person to bring Verizon through its next chapter", McAdam said.

The decision to name Vestberg as Verizon's new CEO seems to indicate that the company, unlike rival AT&T, wants to focus on its wireless technology more than films and television.

Some analysts had expected John Stratton, Verizon's president of global operations, to succeed McAdam.

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Under McAdam, Verizon bought AOL and Yahoo.

Stratton, 57, is exiting Verizon after more than 25 years at the telco and predecessor company Bell Atlantic Mobile. The change comes at a time when the company is preparing to deploy its 5G network in the United States. He was ousted by Ericsson in 2016 after a string of missing quarterly financial targets.

Hans Vestberg led more than 115,000 employees as Ericsson transformed from a focus on hardware to software and services.

The lines between telecom and media are rapidly blurring though.

She added, "The Board has been impressed not only by Hans' performance and vision leading one of the largest organizations within Verizon, but also by his depth of experience, track record of operational success and passion for innovation".

Investors would be wondering if Verizon new CEO Vestberg is the right candidate to lead the telecom giant.

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