Verizon Taps Lowell McAdam As COO, Likely CEO Successor

09/20/2010 01:07 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

NEW YORK — Verizon Communications Inc. has named the head of its wireless division, Lowell C. McAdam, as its chief operating officer, setting him up as a successor to the CEO.

The move announced Monday clarifies the succession at Verizon after it said a week ago that chief financial officer John Killian plans to retire at the end of the year. He has been at the job for a year and a half.

CEO Ivan Seidenberg, 63, has led the company for the past decade. McAdam, 56, starts in his new job Oct. 1.

Verizon shares rose 41 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $32.09 Monday. They set a 52-week high of $32.17 earlier in the session.

McAdam became head of Verizon Wireless in 2007. Before that, he was chief operating officer of the venture since it was founded in 2000. During McAdam's tenure as CEO, the company executed an acquisition – that of Alltel Corp. in 2009 – that made it the largest carrier in the industry.

McAdam has also struggled with the surging popularity of the iPhone. It has led to a close relationship between Verizon Wireless and Google Inc., which provides its Android software to phones that compete with Apple Inc.'s phone, and close personal contact between McAdam and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Daniel S. Mead will take over as head of Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Britain's Vodafone Group PLC. He was previously the venture's chief operating officer.

Verizon Communications said Monday it is also promoting Francis J. Shammo, head of Verizon Telecom and Business, to succeed Killian in the job of chief financial officer beginning Nov. 1.