Verizon CEO McAdam retiring, Vestberg named successor

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Verizon Communications's Lowell McAdam, the telco giant's CEO since 2011 and chairman since 2012, is retiring, the company said today.

The board of Verizon is happy about the contribution of Hans Vestberg and believes that he can take Verizon to the next level at a time when T-Mobile and Sprint are combining their businesses to take on Verizon and AT&T.

Vestberg, 52, joined the wireless provider a year ago and has been working on Verizon's networks, including the 4G LTE network. Well enough for McAdam to want Vestberg to succeed him as CEO. Stratton has stepped down from his role at Verizon effective immediately, and will support a transition as a strategic advisor reporting to McAdam before leaving the company by the end of 2018.

His time with the company has been short, only taking on his current roles with it in April 2017. A judgment on that case is expected by June 12.

Under McAdam, Verizon completed the $130 billion buyout of Vodafone's wireless business in 2014, and acquired Yahoo and AOL to diversify into digital media. Vestberg made a presentation about Verizon's 5G plans in a panel discussion at the CES show in Las Vegas in January.

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Verizon tapped a technology expert as it races against other wireless carriers to develop a 5G network that would deliver faster speeds.

Hans Vestberg said in an interview the No. 1 USA wireless carrier would keep pursuing its current 5G strategy but he did not "see anything new on the horizon" to pursue media content.

The lines between telecom and media are rapidly blurring though.

Hans Vestberg led more than 115,000 employees as Ericsson transformed from a focus on hardware to software and services. "At this point he's closer to the current focus of the company", John Hodulik, an analyst at UBS who covers Verizon, told The Journal.

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. Hans is an energizing force who will continue to position Verizon to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution - the emergence of technologies that blend the physical and the digital to create historic breakthroughs in connectivity and mobility".