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Verizon sets off chain reaction of top leadership changes


Verizon announced big changes to its top leadership this morning, making internal promotions and stressing a focus on efficiencies.


Sowmyanarayan Sampath will now lead Verizon Consumer Group, a position that Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg has been filling himself for the last few months. Sampath, who has been leading the Verizon Business Group, today was named CEO of Verizon Consumer Group.


The consumer group has been a problem child for Verizon as the company has seen its phone subscriber numbers drop in recent quarters. Ronan Dunne led the group for five years from 2016 to 2021. He was then replaced in January 2022 by Manon Brouillette, who only lasted less than a year, departing in December 2022.


In its statement today Verizon said, “Sampath is the ideal leader for Verizon Consumer Group and will relentlessly focus on growing the business in a customer first, agile, financially disciplined way to increase loyalty and welcome new customers across the portfolio.”


With Sampath leaving Verizon Business Group, that vacancy set off a chain reaction of two more leadership changes.


Kyle Malady, currently leading Global Networks & Technology, has been appointed CEO of Verizon Business Group, a group that’s been a shining star for the company and one that Verizon surely wants to see continue its momentum.


In its announcement today, Verizon said Malady’s “experience and deep technology business acumen will be critical to advancing Verizon Business.” Malady will continue the Verizon Business Group’s wireline efficiency programs and build on its wireless growth momentum.


And finally, Joe Russo, who has been serving as chief network officer, was named president of Global Networks and Technology, the role being vacated by Malady. In his new role Russo will focus on continuing to improve Verizon’s wireless network via its aggressive spectrum deployment of C-Band, optimizing 5G and driving network efficiencies.


“One of our strengths at Verizon is the depth of our leadership and the breadth of skills they bring to the table. Sampath, Kyle and Joe are long-time Verizon veterans. I am confident these leaders will best position Verizon for the new era of customer growth,” said Vestberg in a statement. “These transitions will begin immediately and all will report directly to me.”


In addition to the promotions, Verizon also announced that its CFO Matt Ellis will leave the company on May 1 “to pursue other interests.”


“I appreciate the contributions Matt has made to Verizon in his 10 years with the company, shaping our organization with his strong leadership and financial aptitude. I wish him all the best for the future as he now moves on to new opportunities,” said Vestberg.


Verizon Controller Tony Skiadas has been appointed interim CFO. Skiadas has led multiple teams within the finance organization “and will ensure the finance organization remains laser focused on continuing with cost reduction and efficiency efforts while the company conducts a search for a successor,” stated Verizon’s announcement.


Mary-Lee Stillwell, vice president of accounting and external reporting, has been appointed controller.

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