Verizon is handing the reins of its 5G operations to interim Chief Technology Officer Kyle Malady who's taking over from Hans Vestberg, the former head of Ericsson set to succeed Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam. While the largest mobile service provider in the United States specifically stated Mr. Malady's position is interim in nature, the company has yet to provide any details on its efforts to find a permanent CTO. The timing of the executive shuffle is significant as it comes while Verizon is amid two major infrastructure projects – the preparation of its nationwide 5G network and the densification of its existing fiber network.
Mr. Malady recently served as the head of Verizon's wireline network operations, having previously presided over product development, contributing to projects such as the Verizon App Store, VCast Music and Video, VZ MobileWeb, and VZ Navigator. He was personally involved in the wireless carrier's Android support efforts as well and generally worked on a broad range of projects, amassing significant experience that would likely even make him a suitable option for a permanent CTO pick should Verizon ultimately decide to go that route after all.
Mr. Vestberg himself is still expected to remain closely involved in the company's technological projects given how that's where his expertise lies; while Verizon recently committed significant resources to acquiring AOL and Yahoo with the goal of combining them into Oath, a unit meant to take on the likes of Google and Facebook in the digital advertising segment, the incoming CEO is likely to place a larger focus on technologies instead of content, some industry watchers believe. Where would such a strategy shift leave Oath is presently unclear, though one recent report suggested the division's CEO Tim Armstrong previously explored the idea of buying out Verizon. Mr. McAdam will step down as Verizon's CEO on July 31, with his successor being set to immediately take the reins of the company and possibly clarify how the telecom giant plans to approach its search for a permanent CTO.