US operator says it will restructure its business along three lines and puts former Ericsson CEO in charge of networks and technology.

Iain Morris, International Editor

March 31, 2017

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

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.

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Iain Morris

International Editor, Light Reading

Iain Morris joined Light Reading as News Editor at the start of 2015 -- and we mean, right at the start. His friends and family were still singing Auld Lang Syne as Iain started sourcing New Year's Eve UK mobile network congestion statistics. Prior to boosting Light Reading's UK-based editorial team numbers (he is based in London, south of the river), Iain was a successful freelance writer and editor who had been covering the telecoms sector for the past 15 years. His work has appeared in publications including The Economist (classy!) and The Observer, besides a variety of trade and business journals. He was previously the lead telecoms analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, and before that worked as a features editor at Telecommunications magazine. Iain started out in telecoms as an editor at consulting and market-research company Analysys (now Analysys Mason).

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