In a big move up top, Verizon Communications said Friday that Hans Vestberg has been tapped to succeed Lowell McAdam as CEO, effective August 1, 2018.  

Hans Vestberg

Hans Vestberg

Vestberg, 52, was the president and CEO of Ericsson before joining Verizon in April 2017, and has been serving as EVP and president of global networks and chief technology officer.

As part of the succession plan, McAdam,64, will serve as executive chairman of the board through his retirement from the company at the end of 2018, and serve as non-executive chairman thereafter, Verizon said.

McAdam was named CEO in August 2011 and chairman on January 1. He is retiring after leading the company through the transition to 4G/LTE, and now as Verizon embarks on the 5G era.

Verizon has locked in plans to launch 5G-based services in Sacramento and Los Angeles and two other markets the company has yet to identify.

“I think it [5G] is the biggest technology breakthrough I’ve seen in my career,” McAdam said last month in an interview with Yahoo Finance. 

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“I strongly believe in the power of change to drive long-term growth and innovation,” McAdam said in a statement. “For Verizon, the time for a change in leadership is now, and I am confident that Hans is the right person to bring Verizon through its next chapter. Hans is an energizing force who will continue to position Verizon to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the emergence of technologies that blend the physical and the digital to create historic breakthroughs in connectivity and mobility.”

“I am humbled to be appointed CEO of Verizon at such an exciting and dynamic time for our company and industry,” Vestberg added. “We are experiencing unprecedented changes in the way users interact in the digital world, and we are racing ahead to remain at the forefront of technology, connectivity and mobility. To know Lowell is to be inspired by his vision for Verizon’s role in shaping the future. I look forward to building on this momentum while continuing to focus on strengthening our customer relationships, and driving growth and profitability throughout the business to deliver long-term value. Best of all, I get to do this alongside the greatest team in the business.”