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Verizon looking to ‘increase the pace of execution’ amid leadership change

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Change is coming to Verizon Communications Inc. after a tough year for the company’s consumer wireless business.

Verizon
VZ,
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announced Monday morning that Manon Brouillette, the chief executive of its consumer business, would be stepping down from that role after holding it for less than a year. Hans Vestberg, the CEO of Verizon, is assuming oversight of the consumer unit.

Despite the change in leadership, Vestberg said that the move doesn’t reflect a change in strategy.

“It’s just that sometimes you make adjustments in order to … increase the pace of execution and things like that,” he said at a UBS conference Monday morning, according to a transcript provided by Sentieo/AlphaSense. “And we wanted to get into 2023 strong.”

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Vestberg also denied that the change was a reflection on the company’s fourth-quarter performance thus far. After three quarters of subscriber declines in Verizon’s retail postpaid phone business, the company said on its last earnings call that it expected to see positive consumer phone net additions in the fourth quarter. Vestberg said Monday that Verizon was still “tracking” in that direction, though there’s still time remaining in the period.

“The only sort of caveat anyone would have and I guess that this is very versatile [is] that there [is] some choppiness in supply,” he noted, though Verizon has so far managed that well thanks to “very good” relationships with phone manufacturers, according to Vestberg.

He said that the company hasn’t been as aggressive with its promotions as in past years, though it still had a “good Black Friday.”

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“We continue to be prudent doing the right things for the right segments, to see that we continue to grow our top line and bottom line,” he said at the UBS conference. “That’s really the focus we have in the group, and we have the best product, we have the best network and we have the largest base of consumers.”

Also read: AT&T to pay $6.25 million following SEC charges over disclosing nonpublic information

Shares of Verizon were down nearly 3% in afternoon trading Monday.

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