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Former Ericsson CEO Vestberg to Be Verizon's King of Networks

Iain Morris
3/31/2017

Former Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg is resurfacing at US telecom giant Verizon, where he will take charge of a newly created network and technology team.

The news forms part of a restructuring announcement apparently aimed at speeding up the deployment of next-generation technology and ensuring Verizon can better address customer demands.

Vestberg, who left Swedish equipment vendor Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) last summer following a series of earnings disappointments, will report directly to Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam and be tasked mainly with the development of Verizon's fiber-centric networks, the operator said in a statement. (See Ericsson Ejects CEO Vestberg.)

Vestberg will initially work from Sweden but is set to join "the US-based team" later in this spring, added Verizon.

Marni Walden, the current president of product innovation and new businesses, will have full responsibility for a new media and telematics division, while John Stratton, the president of operations, will lead a customer and product operations unit.

While Verizon calls out "fiber-centric" networks in its update, the network team that Vestberg will lead encompasses a broad range of technologies, including the operator's nationwide 4G network. Vestberg will also take responsibility for Verizon's high-profile 5G strategy, which includes plans to launch fixed wireless access services based on the next-generation standard later this year.


For all the latest news from the wireless networking and services sector, check out our dedicated mobile content channel here on Light Reading.


The media and telematics business, meanwhile, will include the AOL and Yahoo assets Verizon has recently acquired as well as the operator's connected car activities.

Stratton's customer and product operations unit is to focus on growing established operations, including Verizon Wireless, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Verizon Partner Solutions, Verizon Consumer Markets and Verizon Business Markets.

The telco said those businesses currently generate more than $120 billion in annual revenues and serve more than 120 million customers.

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wanlord
wanlord
3/31/2017 | 2:09:04 PM
typical verizon...
Nothing surpises me... Typical of Verizon to add more failed leaders to the company. This guy was ousted as CEO for failure to perform. Now they are letting him run a core business???
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
3/31/2017 | 9:43:15 PM
Re: typical verizon...
It's worth noting that he's not taking a CEO role.  He's taking a #2 role -- similar to the CFO role he had at Ericsson for years before taking the promotion.  Could simply be a case of the Peter Principle.

Or it could be any other number of things.  He stepped down after one poor quarter, so I suspect there were some politics at play.  After all, that's a far cry from the level of failure and incompetence of, say, any given Yahoo CEO.

Let's see what he does.
danielcawrey
danielcawrey
4/2/2017 | 11:25:46 AM
Re: typical verizon...
Seems like a winning transition. Verizon is doing much better than Ericsson, and you have to wonder about the future of that company. Can Ericsson even stand on its own as a company? Hard to say. 
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