Marni Walden to Leave Verizon

Will move into strategic advisor role before exiting company in February 2018

Verizon Communications on Wednesday said Marni Walden, the company’s EVP and president of Global Media, announced her plans to leave the company next February.

Effective Dec. 31, Walden will shift to a strategic advisor role and continue to report to Verizon chair and CEO Lowell McAdam until her departure, the company said.

After that, Tim Armstrong, CEO of Oath, a unit of Verizon that combines its AOL with Yahoo businesses, will report to McAdam and continue to lead Oath. Verizon’s Telematics org, currently under Walden, will report to John Stratton, executive vice president and president of Global Operations.

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Verizon did not elaborate on Walden’s decision to leave. Reuters, citing a company official, reported that Walden, considered a potential successor to McAdam, is departing to pursue other opportunities.

Walden’s exit comes after a restructuring of Verizon’s operations and as it looks to integrate the recently acquired Yahoo business and makes progress with to develop and launch its own subscription OTT TV service.

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Verizon has yet to detail the finer points of its coming OTT TV service, but Walden, speaking at an investor’s conference in June, said it will focus on delivering a package focused on quality, rather than quantity.

“I don’t want to do just a me-too kind of thing,” she said then. “That’s not where we’re going to win…You’re going to see us think about it in a different way,” she said. “It’s definitely not quantity. It’s the right quality. There are some things you have to have, but we’re not looking for the kitchen sink on this one.”

McAdam said, in a statement: “Marni helped build our wireless business, starting as a sales representative in a store, and grew into an inspirational leader and role model for so many at Verizon. She has most recently spearheaded Verizon’s entry into global digital media and telematics and will leave us in a strong competitive position.”


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