Bye Fran! Verizon CFO Is Retiring

Fran Shammo announced Thursday afternoon that he will step down as CFO at Verizon after 27 years at the company.

Shammo -- arguably the C-level executive with the most excellent name at any of the big four wireless operators in the US -- will relinquish the CFO title on November 1, in preparation for retirement at the end of the year. Shammo will be succeeded by the boringly named Matt Ellis, who is presently senior vice president and CFO of operations and finance. Big Red says that Ellis has experience providing financial support for both its wireless and wireline operations.

Shammo, 55, started with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) before Verizon was Verizon. He joined Bell Atlantic, one of the "Baby Bells" in 1989 as a general manager. Bell Atlantic became GTE and eventually Verizon at the turn of this century.

Shammo -- who is not be confused with Shammu, the loveable Killer Whale became CFO of Verizon in 2010. He has been a highly visible and vocal member of Big Red's C-Level table ever since. Shammo presided over Verizon's biggest stretch of acquisitions since the company was formed.

Shammo has been one of the people who has helped develop Verizon's strategy to become more of a video-driven media company and less of a stodgy old service provider. He led the financing for Verizon to buy out Vodafone's share of Verizon Wireless , and worked on the acquisitions of AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) and Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO). He leaves Verizon as the largest mobile service provider in the US with over 140 million subscribers.

Bloomberg says that Shammo's total compensation in fiscal 2015 was $7,240,841. It is unclear at press time if he will use some of his undoubtedly large pile of cash to buy an exotic desert island where he can swim free in the clear blue ocean.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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