John Stratton was named CEO of Verizon Wireless, replacing Dan Mead at the top of the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday. The former president of Verizon’s global enterprise and consumer wireline units, Stratton will continue to report to Lowell C. McAdam, Chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications.
Stratton will also maintain his operational role as head of Verizon’s wireline businesses.
Mead will remain at Verizon Wireless through at least early 2016 in a new role, executive vice president and president of strategic initiatives. He will oversee the sale of Verizon’s wireline operations in California, Florida and Texas to Frontier Communications Corporation, and will retire once the sale is completed. Having served as CEO of Verizon Wireless since 2010, Mead is the longest tenured head of the major U.S. carriers.
Verizon spokeswoman Debi Lewis declined to comment about the leadership change, but did say "we're all focused on delivering value for all our customers."
Verizon isn’t the only network that has seen major leadership changes in recent years. In 2014, Brightstar Corp. founder Marcelo Claure replaced Dan Hesse as CEO of Sprint. Later that year Glenn Lurie replaced Ralph de la Vega as CEO of AT&T Mobility. Lurie formerly served as AT&T’s president of emerging enterprises and partnerships business, while de la Vega went on to become CEO of AT&T’s mobile and business solutions group.
In 2012, John Legere became CEO of T-Mobile US. Prior to that T-Mobile had a tumultuous period where the carrier went through three different CEOs before selecting its Uncarrier leader. Former CEO Robert Dotson resigned in 2010 and was replaced by Phillip Humm, who then quit suddenly in 2012. T-Mobile’s COO Jim Alling served as interim CEO until Legere assumed his role. Upon Mead’s retirement, Legere will have the longest tenure of all the current mobile network CEOs.