Hans Vestberg is quietly working to remake Verizon

Verizon Hans Vestberg (Verizon)
Hans Vestberg became Verizon's CEO earlier this year. (Verizon)

According to a number of reports, Verizon’s new CEO, Hans Vestberg, is working to overhaul the company’s top leadership and plans to unveil his long-term strategy for the company later this year.

As detailed in a lengthy Bloomberg article citing unnamed sources, Vestberg is currently interviewing hundreds of Verizon’s top managers in an effort to refresh the company’s leadership and unify its offerings.

The move also comes amid Verizon’s efforts to shed jobs in order to cut $10 billion in costs while concurrently outsourcing elements of its IT operations to a firm in India. Under Vestberg’s leadership, Verizon is also embarking on a major network upgrade program largely focusing on building out a 5G network.

In aggregate, the actions indicate Vestberg is working to make his mark on Verizon after taking the helm from longtime CEO Lowell McAdam earlier this year. (Vestberg was one of several new front-office faces brought into Verizon throughout the past few yearsa noteworthy change for a company that previously promoted mostly from within.)

Perhaps Vestberg’s most obvious initiative is launching a 5G network. In fact, 5G was the main topic that Vestberg and McAdam discussed during McAdam’s last quarterly conference call with the company in July.

RELATED: Editor’s Corner—For better or worse, Verizon bets the farm on 5G

Verizon switched on its commercial 5G Home fixed wireless service last month in four cities; the company has promised to launch mobile 5G services in the coming months.

But Verizon has also been working to make substantial changes to its workforce, albeit without as much fanfare. Specifically, the company is reportedly making a severance offer to 44,000 of its employees, offering severance packages of three weeks’ pay for each year of service up to 60 weeks.

Under Vestberg’s leadership, Verizon inked a $700 million agreement with India-based Infosys to outsource much of its IT operations. As noted by SDXCentral, Verizon wouldn’t say exactly how IT employees will be affected by the deal, but it will reportedly affect around 2,500 employees both in the United States and overseas.

Thus, Verizon clearly is undergoing a major overhaul that could dramatically reshape the company’s workforce and leadership in the coming months, just as it embarks on a major buildout of 5G network technology.

Interestingly, Verizon’s front-office change-up appears to be occurring at roughly the same time that AT&T’s own structure is undergoing significant change. Following the close of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T’s Randall Stephenson put John Donovan in charge of the company’s network efforts, and Donovan tasked Jeff McElfresh with command of AT&T’s Technology and Operations divisionthe unit responsible for building 5G. McElfresh takes over from Melissa Arnoldi, who will move over to head up AT&T’s Vrio subsidiary in Latin America, which sells DirecTV services to South American countries.

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