Hans Vestberg, now head of Global Networks and the company's CTO, will succeed Lowell McAdam, who will serve as executive chairman of the board until he retires at the end of the year. Current Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said in an interview it was the ideal time to hand the reins to Vestberg, with Verizon at an "inflection point" holding all the pieces it needs for 5G, such as fibre and spectrum.
Stratton, 57, has served Verizon and its predecessor, Bell Atlantic Mobile, for more than 25 years, holding various executive-level positions.
Vestberg, 52, joined the wireless provider past year and has been working on Verizon's networks, including the 4G LTE network.
Verizon has also been touting its upcoming 5G network, which promises to bring faster data speeds to businesses and consumers. "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.
"There are number of different ways Hans Vestberg could reshape Verizon's future", BTIG analyst Walt Piecyk told the Washington Post, given that communications companies are "facing new competition and disruption to their existing business models" - referring to OTT.
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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.
Some analysts had expected John Stratton, Verizon's president of global operations, to succeed McAdam.
Though, media is gradually becoming obsolete in telecom. Companies are bulking up in an attempt to grab as many consumers as they can.
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".
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