Verizon names tech chief CEO, prioritizes 5G network over content

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Lowell McAdam, who served as Verizon's CEO for seven years, will remain as its chairman through year's end and become a non-executive chairman after that time, the NY company said in a regulatory filing on Friday.

Vestberg, 52, joined Verizon a year ago after being fired as chief executive at communications equipment maker Ericsson in 2016, following years of dismal growth and weak earnings.

He is now serving as the Executive Vice President, President of Global Networks and Chief Technology Officer for Verizon.

Vestberg said, "I am humbled to be appointed CEO of Verizon at such an exciting and dynamic time for our company and industry". Lowell McAdam will be remaining as the non-executive chairman of the company. Money reports that Vestberg will be taking over from Verizon current CEO Lowell MacAdam on August 1. Stratton, president of global operations, will retire this year. He will remain as non-executive chairman after that.

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Vestberg inherits a company that is losing its most valuable monthly subscribers and facing the threat of intensifying competition, as smaller, scrappier rivals Sprint and T-Mobile try once again to merge. Since 2011 Verizon has made more than $120 billion in capital investments, in addition to AWS, Straight Path and other spectrum purchases, to enhance its networks, while pursuing an M&A strategy focused on wireless, media and broadband services. It has returned over United States dollars 54 billion to shareholders in cash dividends.

Verizon acquired Yahoo and AOL under McAdams administration.

Under McAdam, Verizon took over the stake in the important wireless unit from Britain's Vodafone and built a customer base of more than 150 million. But it has also aggressively pushed its 4G LTE technology and FiOS broadband network. The former rivals are pushing ahead with 5G plans, which also remains a priority for Verizon.

Full bios, photos and other materials can be accessed here. A longtime network infrastructure executive who has talked about the benefits of a "connected society", Vestberg was brought in to to lay out the company's next-generation network architecture, as well to integrate its various wireless and landline networks.

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