Verizon's Shammo to step down as CFO

Shammo

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo is retiring after 27 years with the company.

Shammo, who also served as an executive vice president, will step down as CFO effective Nov. 1, although he’ll remain with the company through 2016. He’ll be replaced as EVP and CFO by Matt Ellis, Verizon’s current senior vice president and CFO of Operations Finance, which handles finances for the company’s wireless and wireline businesses.

“I’ve worked closely with Fran for many years and have been continually impressed by by his success at balancing the needs of customers, shareholders and employees,” Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said in a press release. “He has been a tremendous leader, and a voice of sound advice and counsel to me and the rest of Verizon's leadership team. While Fran will be greatly missed, I respect his decision to retire, and I am pleased that he will stay through year-end to ensure a smooth transition."

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Shammo, 55, became CFO in November 2010 and helped lead Verizon’s finance and strategic planning operations as well as its financial transaction services. Shammo is partly responsible for Verizon’s ongoing focus on investing heavily in its network – Verizon consistently beats its rivals in third-party tests of network performance – and he has played a large role in the company’s move into digital media with the acquisitions of AOL and Yahoo.

Before becoming CFO, Shammo was president and CEO of Verizon Telecom and Business; he has also served as president of Verizon Business and as president of the West area for the company.

Shammo often spoke during Verizon earnings calls and at investor conferences during his tenure, and he was sometimes more candid than many other front-office executives. That candor sometimes clearly illuminated Verizon’s strategies that weren’t otherwise obvious.

In April, for instance, he made headlines when he overtly acknowledged Verizon’s lack of focus on a prepaid market that has grown much more competitive over the last year.

"If you look at the competitive nature, (other providers) are (pursuing prepaid) with sub brands," Shammo said during an investor conference. "They are not really doing it with their brands. And quite honestly, we use the TracFone brand as our prepaid product."

Shammo earned a little more than $7 million in total compensation last year, according to an estimate from Bloomberg.

For more:
- see this Verizon press release

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