Vestberg to replace retiring McAdam as Verizon chair

11 February 2019 | James Pearce

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Verizon Communications CEO Hans Vestberg has been elected as chairman of the company, replacing former CEO Lowell McAdam, who is set to retire in March.

Former Ericsson chief Vestberg, who replaced McAdam as CEO in August, will also take on the mantle of chairman effective 8 March 2019, when McAdam retires.

Vestberg joined Verizon as CTO in April 2017 and has served on the board since June 2018. He was previously president and CEO of Swedish vendor Ericsson from 2010 until 2016, when he was sacked following an 11% fall in sales.

McAdam, who first became Verizon CEO in August 2011, has been chairman since 2012. He oversaw Verizon Communications’ buyout of Vodafone’s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless and has led the company’s push into the internet of things and digital media.

McAdam, who also served as COO and CEO of Verizon Wireless, will continue to serve on the board after his retirement a chair, Verizon said in a statement.

The announcement was one of several board changes unveiled by Verizon. Clarence Otis Jr, who has served on the board since 2006, has been elected as led director, serving from 8 March. Otis replaces M. Frances Keeth, who is set to retire from the board in May.

Keeth said, “I’m honoured to have been lead director of Verizon’s Board. With the approach of my planned retirement from these duties, this is the culmination of a succession planning process that -- with Hans as chairman and Clarence as lead director -- best positions Verizon for continued leadership in the 5G era.”

Richard Carrion – another board member – is also stepping down, having informed the company that he will not stand for reelection when his term expires. Carrion has been on the Verizon board since its founding in 2000 and was also on the board of predecessor companies, such as Bell Atlantic.

Keeth said: “Our Board thanks Richard for his many years of service. We also owe a great debt of gratitude to Lowell for the legacy he is leaving to Verizon customers, employees and shareholders.”