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Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam To Retire, With CTO Hans Vestberg Taking Over

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam To Retire, With CTO Hans Vestberg Taking Over

Vestberg is now Verizon's chief technology officer (CTO).

Verizon Communications Inc named Chief Technology Officer Hans Vestberg its new CEO, surprising analysts and signalling the No. 1 wireless company's priority is building the next-generation 5G network, not expanding further into media content.

Current CEO Lowell McAdam, 64, will step down on August 1, seven years after he took the helm of the company.

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Stratton, 57, has served Verizon and its predecessor, Bell Atlantic Mobile, for more than 25 years, holding various executive-level positions. It was one of the company's ways of touting its upcoming 5G broadband network, which has promised faster data speeds to consumers and businesses. "Effective immediately, Stratton will step down from his current role and will support a smooth transition as a strategic adviser reporting to Lowell McAdam", Verizon said in a statement Friday.

The decision to name Vestberg as Verizon's new CEO seems to indicate that the company, unlike rival AT&T, wants to focus on its wireless technology more than films and television. McAdam had served as the CEO of Verizon Wireless before becoming chief operating officer and, finally, CEO.

One of McAdam's signature deals was Verizon's $130 billion buyout of Vodafone's 45% stake in the USA 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.

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Verizon acquired Yahoo and AOL under McAdams administration. 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.

He has also been working to prepare VZ for the change over to 5G networks.

The lines between telecom and media are rapidly blurring though. Hans Vestberg, who has left as the CEO of Ericsson during a crisis period, joined Verizon in April 2017.

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But McAdam expressed confidence about his successor. "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". Companies are now more focused on growing the number of customers with varied strategies.