2021 FierceWireless Rising Star — Verizon’s David Wolff

Verizon's David Wolff (Verizon)

For 2021, FierceWireless has compiled a young and accomplished slate of up-and-coming wireless executives. We’re doling out the names of our winners, two per day, so that readers have the time to enjoy reading their profiles. These are all folks to keep an eye on as they make a mark in wireless, working in diverse areas of telecommunications.

When David Wolff graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in electrical engineering, it was the beginning of the 4G era and he was intrigued by what he believed 4G could do to change society.  And when Verizon offered him the opportunity to join its three-year leadership development program, he jumped at the chance. “I understood how impactful 4G could be and really enjoyed learning about it,” he said. “I knew this was an awesome opportunity.”

Wolff spent his first year with Verizon in Chicago working as an RF engineer, and then he moved to New Jersey where he worked in Verizon’s headquarters as a strategy engineer. For his third year, he moved back to Chicago and joined the area planning department.

This three-year stint allowed him to experience different geographies and learn different areas of the business. 

Today, he is director of network performance for Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana for Verizon’s Global Network and Technology group where he is responsible for the design and optimization of the wireless network across those three states.

Wolff says that the best part of working for Verizon (he’s now been there 10 years) is that he gets to see how quickly the technology evolves, and it has forced him to continually learn new things. “It has allowed me to appreciate the fact that for everything I learn and understand, I find that there is much more that I have to learn,” he said.

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He’s particularly intrigued by Verizon’s mmWave deployment. “It’s pretty incredible the latency and throughput and advancements,” he said. “I think it’s beyond some use cases that are out there today.”

Like many in the industry, however, Wolff says that the past year has been particularly challenging because even though he has been able to work from home he hasn’t been able to meet with his team of 50 engineers. Plus, he says he has even had to hire some engineers during the pandemic and hasn’t met them face-to-face yet. “That is definitely something I have not enjoyed,” he said.

When Wolff isn't working he is spending time with his eight-month-old daughter and his wife.