Verizon taps Hans Vestberg as chief executive

Lowell McAdam

Vestberg, 52, is now chief technology officer and head of global networks for Verizon, the leading United States wireless telecom group which also owns the AOL and Yahoo brands and is a major broadband provider.

John Stratton, Verizon's president of global operations, was expected to succeed current Lowell McAdam, according to analysts.

Stratton, 57, has served Verizon and its predecessor, Bell Atlantic Mobile, for more than 25 years, holding various executive-level positions. This will have him replacing current CEO Lowell McAdam.

Verizon new CEO Vestberg did not mention media or content while discussing his goals for the company in a statement on Friday.

Verizon Wireless is going through a tough phase at present. 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. Some analysts feel that Verizon needs new business streams to revive the growth.

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The unexpected appointment of Hans Vestberg indicates that Verizon may not acquire a media / content company to rival AT&T.

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.

Hans Vestberg, 52, has spent only a year at the company. "Importantly, Hans is an inspiring leader, with high energy and a passion for delivering on the core values that truly make Verizon the world leader it is today". 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. McAdam will continue to serve as chairman of Verizon's board of directors beyond his retirement at the end of the year. 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.

Swedish-native Vestberg is the former CEO of Ericsson who joined Verizon in April 2017 as CTO and EVP/president of global networks.

In this role, he led more than 115,000 employees as the company transformed from a focus on hardware to software and services.

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