Current Verizon chief executive officer Lowell McAdam will take on a new role as Chairman of the Board in January as recently retired CEO Ivan Seidenberg will step down as a director, the company announced Thursday.

McAdam, 56 years old, took the top job from Seidenberg in August, while Seidenberg remained on the board in order to aid the transition process. McAdam was president and CEO of Verizon Wireless from 2006 until late 2010, when he became the president and CEO of Verizon.

Seidenberg, 64, has served as chairman of the board since 2004. He also served as CEO of the company from 2000-2010.

The board's decision to name Lowell as chairman is a reflection of his comprehensive understanding of Verizon's operations and the fast-moving and ever-evolving communications industry, presiding board director Sandra Moose said in a statement. He is uniquely qualified to step into the role, having spent his entire career as an industry leader creating growth and value for shareholders.

McAdam made $7.2 million in total compensation for 2010, while Seidenberg hauled in $18.2 million, according to the company's annual report.

McAdam also serves on the board of information technology company Terremark, based in Miami.