Hans Vestberg to take over as Verizon’s CEO in August

Verizon today announced CEO Lowell McAdam is stepping down from his post as August 1, 2018, seven years to the day he took the spot. He will stay on as Executive Chairman of the Board through the end of 2018 and as Non-Executive Chairman thereafter.

Hans Vestberg, Chief Technology Officer of Verizon as well as Executive Vice President and President of Global Networks (that’s a long title), will take over as the Chief Executive Officer of the telecom giant who also owns Oath and therefore TechCrunch.

McAdam has led Verizon as its CEO since August 2011 and became Chairman on January 2012. In addition to various mergers and acquisitions in the telecom industry, McAdam acquired AOL in 2015 and Yahoo in 2017 to form a digital media and advertising subsidiary.

Vestberg is relatively new at Verizon. He joined the company a year ago. He was previously the chief executive of Ericsson until he was ousted in July 2016 when he proved ineffective in turning the company around.

Vestberg spent most of his career working for Ericsson. From 1998 to the end of 2009, Vestberg has mostly been the Chief Financial Officer of various Ericsson divisions around the world. He was Ericsson’s CEO from 2010 to 2016. For many years, Ericsson was a key player when it comes to telecommunications infrastructure and equipment. But the company had to face competition from Huawei and other infrastructure companies which led to disappointing performances.

He’ll have a different task at Verizon. Verizon is currently riding high as one of the top telecom companies in the United States but is eager to find new growth opportunities while transitioning to 5G networks. The fact that the CTO is taking over as CEO proves that Verizon cares a lot about 5G. The technology is going to be key to gain a competitive advantage against other telecom companies.

In pre-market trading, Verizon shares (NYSE:VZ) are currently trading down 1.06 percent to $48.48 compared to yesterday’s closing price.

Lowell McAdam published the following message:

V Team,

I have something I’d like to share with you. I’ve been with our company and its predecessors for 35 years, and your Chairman and CEO for the past seven. Today, marks the beginning of an important series of events for Verizon. We are announcing that Hans Vestberg will succeed me as the Chief Executive Officer on August 1st. I will serve as Executive Chairman of the Board through the end of the year, and then continue as Chairman of the Board in a non-Executive capacity starting in 2019.

This is an exciting period for Verizon, and I believe there is no better time for this transition than now. It is my pleasure to hand the reins over to Hans. Hans is a recognized executive in the telecommunications and technology industries, and since joining Verizon in early 2017 he has demonstrated his ability to innovate and execute. I know that he has the right expertise, experience and business acumen to lead us forward and build on our strategy. 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.

When I look back at the milestones throughout my career, the one that stands out most is Verizon’s transformation into a world-class technology company. Today, Verizon is one of the world’s leading providers of communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Our goal has always been to improve lives through innovation. As I think about the power of 5G, I am convinced that this is a significant and pivotal time for Verizon and our entire industry – and now is the time to bring Verizon into its next chapter.

It has truly been a pleasure and a privilege to lead this great company. I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together. I look forward to continuing to play a part in its future as Executive Chairman of the Board, and I have tremendous confidence in where Verizon is headed with your support and Hans’s leadership.

Thank you for your dedication to Verizon. And never forget, there’s always a higher gear.