Verizon names former Ericsson chief to replace McAdam

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(Reuters) – Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) 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 Aug. 1.

FILE PHOTO – Hans Vestberg, Verizon executive vice president and president of Global Networks and Chief Technology Officer, speaks during a panel discussion on 5G wireless broadband technology during the 2018 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

McAdam, 64, plans to retire at the end of the year and will serve as executive chairman of the board until then and then become non-executive chairman, the company said in a statement.

Vestberg, 52, joined Verizon a year ago (ERICb.ST)(ERIC.O) after being fired in an investor-driven shakeup at Ericsson in 2016. He was chief executive of the Swedish firm, one of the world’s largest equipment suppliers to the telecommunications industry, for six years.

At Verizon, the United States’ biggest mobile phone network, he has led a team building out its fiber network infrastructure and was overseeing the build-out of 5G network in the United States.

“For Verizon, the time for a change in leadership is now, and I am confident that Hans is the right person to bring Verizon through its next chapter,” McAdam said in a statement.

Verizon has gained about 40 percent of its $202.5 billion market value since McAdam took charge of the company on Aug. 1, 2011.

The company’s shares were down marginally at $48.75 in trading before the bell on day when a number of chipmakers and major technology stocks fell on reports Apple (AAPL.O) expects to cut iPhone production this year.

Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham

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