Verizon communications Inc.
said the finance chief is leaving and appointed a new head of its consumer operations, a management change that is organizing a competition to succeed CEO Hans Vestberg.
The shake-up comes as Verizon‘s
consumer group, the largest division, is struggling to maintain its core subscriber base in competition with rivals AT&T Inc.
and T-Mobile US Inc.
Mr. Vestberg, 57, succeeded Verizon’s chief consumers last year and took over the segment himself. Now, Sowmyanarayan Sampath, the current head of Verizon’s business-focused division and a longtime executive at the company, will take over the reins of the consumer business.
“I think we were a little asleep behind the wheel,” said Mr. Vestberg.
He said the consumer company reacted “much too late” last year when the economy soured in March, and that the company has since become more agile. He said the company can now deploy funds more quickly for promotions, marketing and other activities. He also cited the company’s Welcome Unlimited plan, which Verizon launched last year to prevent consumers from switching carriers.
Verizon has managed to reverse subscriber losses in the consumer unit in the last three months of 2022, and Mr. Vestberg has said he expects the unit to build on its momentum.
“It’s not like everything is set in stone because I’ve been there for six months,” said Mr. Vestberg.
Mr. Vestberg, an outsider who took over Verizon’s helm in 2018, described the list of executives involved in the shuffling as “next-generation leadership,” though he said he would run the company as long as he had the backing of the government. has stakeholders. .
During his tenure, Verizon’s shares are down about 26%, compared to about a 41% rise in the S&P 500 index over the same period.
Verizon remains the largest mobile carrier in the US in terms of subscribers, but has lost ground in recent years.
Mr. Vestberg, who is also chairman of the board, said he has been looking both inside and outside the company as part of the management changes and will continue to search for a new chief financial officer.
Matt Ellis, 51, will retire as CFO on May 1 after more than six years in the position. Controller Tony Skiadas takes over, but Verizon is looking for a permanent replacement.
Mr. Sampath, 47, the new head of the consumer group, has been CEO of the business group since last summer. Prior to that, he held various positions within the unit and previously held leadership positions in Verizon’s former media unit, most of which was purchased by Apollo Global Management Inc.
His new role positions him as a potential CEO successor, along with another company veteran, Craig Silliman, 55, who leads the global services group and has held several leadership roles. Verizon also said its network chief, Kyle Malady, would take over the business group.
Write to Will Feuer at [email protected]
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