McAdam in line for Verizon helm; Mead to head wireless
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) tapped Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam as its new president and COO, clearing up confusion about who will eventually succeed current CEO Ivan Seidenberg for the top spot at the telecommunications giant.
McAdam, 56, who has led Verizon Wireless since 2006, came into the spotlight last week after the unexpected announcement by Verizon CFO John Killian that he will retire at year-end. The nation's No. 1 wireless carrier has seen its revenue jump from $38 billion in 2006 to $62.1 billion in 2009, during McAdam's tenure, and has grown its subscriber base from 59.1 million in 2006 to 91.2 million in 2009.
In his new role, which begins Oct. 1, McAdam will oversee Verizon's wireless and wireline businesses in addition to its service operations, and will report to Seidenberg. McAdam is taking over the COO spot that was vacated by Deny Strigl, who retired in September 2009. Verizon named Daniel Mead, currently executive vice president and COO of Verizon Wireless, as the new chief of its wireless unit (Verizon Communications has a 55 percent stake in the mobile unit; Vodafone holds the remaining 45 percent stake). The company also said that John Stratton, currently Verizon Wireless' CMO, will take over as the unit's COO.
Verizon's decision to put McAdam in line for the CEO job highlights how important wireless has become to the business. McAdam pushed Verizon into LTE from its CDMA roots; Verizon plans to launch LTE in 25-30 commercial markets in the fourth quarter, covering 100 million POPs. Under McAdam, Verizon also forged a close relationship with Google, and has become one of the biggest carrier supporters of Google's Android smartphone platform.
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