Verizon names tech chief as CEO, putting network over content

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(Reuters) – Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) named chief know-how officer Hans Vestberg as its new CEO starting Aug. 1, shocking analysts and signaling the corporate’s precedence is constructing the next-generation 5G wi-fi community, not increasing into media content material.

FILE PHOTO – Hans Vestberg, Verizon government vice chairman and president of World Networks and Chief Know-how Officer, speaks throughout a panel dialogue on 5G wi-fi broadband know-how throughout the 2018 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Some analysts had anticipated John Stratton, Verizon’s president of world operations, to succeed present Chief Govt Officer Lowell McAdam, who stated he’ll retire. Analysts at Wells Fargo stated in a analysis observe the appointment of an government with extra of an tools background was “very telling.”

Vestberg stated in an interview the No. 1 U.S. wi-fi provider would maintain pursuing its present 5G technique however he didn’t “see something new on the horizon” to pursue media content material.

Vestberg, 52, joined Verizon a 12 months in the past after being fired in an investor-driven shakeup at Ericsson (ERICb.ST)(ERIC.O) in 2016, following years of dismal progress and weak earnings. He was CEO of the Swedish firm, one of many world’s largest tools suppliers to the telecommunications business, for six years.

Analysts had speculated whether or not Verizon will purchase a content material firm as rival AT&T Inc (T.N) awaits a court docket resolution on whether or not it might proceed with its plan to purchase media firm Time Warner Inc (TWX.N).

At Verizon, Vestberg has led a staff constructing out its fiber community infrastructure and was overseeing the build-out of 5G community in the US.

“It’s an ideal time at hand over to somebody of his caliber,” McAdam, 64 stated in an interview. McAdam plans to retire on the finish of the 12 months. He’ll function government chairman till then after which develop into non-executive chairman, the corporate stated in an announcement.

Verizon has gained about 40 % of its $202.5 billion market worth since McAdam took cost of the corporate on Aug. 1, 2011.

The corporate’s shares have been down marginally at $48.75 in morning buying and selling, on a day when a lot of chipmakers and main know-how shares fell on studies Apple (AAPL.O) expects to chop iPhone manufacturing this 12 months.

Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in New York; modifying by Patrick Graham

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