'Surprise' Verizon CEO Appointment Speaks to Fiber Focus

Verizon names top technology officer as its new CEO

"There are number of different ways Hans Vestberg could reshape Verizon's future", Piecyk said, adding that Verizon and other communications companies are "facing new competition and disruption to their existing business models".

Verizon Communications Inc named Chief Technology Officer and former Ericsson boss Hans Vestberg as its new Chief Executive on Friday, saying he will replace current CEO Lowell McAdam on August 1. McAdam will serve as executive chairman of Verizon's board through the end of the year, at which time he will retire from the management team and become nonexecutive chairman of Verizon's board.

M. Frances Keeth, Lead Independent Director of Verizon's Board of Directors, said, "Verizon has a history of robust succession planning to ensure that the company is best positioned to deliver on our value proposition to all stakeholders". Lowell has been a visionary leader, steering Verizon into new growth markets in wireless, the Internet of Things and digital media.

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One of McAdam's signature deals was Verizon's $130 billion buyout of Vodafone's 45% stake in the US wireless company, a deal which gave the company full access to the profits from its mobile operations and the resources to invest in its mobile network and fend off challengers. Hans Vestberg as the CEO of Ericsson could not revive the Sweden-based telecom network company despite exploring opportunities to grow bigger and lower cost.

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

Vestberg, 52, joined the wireless provider a year ago and has been working on Verizon's networks, including the 4G LTE network. During his tenure as CEO, McAdam strategically positioned Verizon for next-generation growth. AT&T is fighting to win approval for its $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc, and Sprint has proposed a $26.5 billion merger of T-Mobile US Inc.

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Hans Vestberg earlier served for six years as president and CEO of Ericsson that provides 35 percent of the world's 2G, 3G and 4G mobile network infrastructure.

Verizon has also been touting its upcoming 5G network, which promises to bring faster data speeds to businesses and consumers.

"I am humbled to be appointed CEO of Verizon at such an exciting and dynamic time for our company and industry", said Vestberg in a statement.

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