Verizon Communications Inc. has become one of the most prominent and successful telecommunication companies in the history of the industry. Most people are only aware of one of its subsidiaries, Verizon Wireless—the largest U.S. wireless communications service provider, but the company is actually more than that. Having its history stem from its Bell Atlantic backgrounds, you can say that Verizon has been around since 1983, which is way before cellular communication became the principal form of communication that it is today. Leading the trail is Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, one of the most successful telecommunication businessmen globally. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Verizon’s Chief Executive Officer.
1. He is Swedish.
Vestberg was born and raised in Sweden in his hometown of Hudiksvall. He attended and received his Business Administration degree from Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden in 1991. Uppsala is the oldest university in Sweden and in all of the Nordic countries altogether. The university has been operational since 1477.
2. He got his start with Ericsson Cables.
Remember the mobile communications company Ericsson? That’s where Vestberg got his career start after college by running management for Ericsson. He started in his Hudksvall hometown before traveling to other parts of the world for the company including China, Chile, Brazil, and other parts of his home country.
3. He has been CEO before.
Working his way up in the Ericsson chain, Vestberg found himself in various positions in the company. He was once CFO for the company in Brazil and North America at different times. He was also controller and President in various parts of the world and CFO for the entire company from 2007 to 2009 before he was named CEO in 2010.
4. He’s a sports guy.
Vestberg has active involvements in various sports organization. At one point, he was chairman of the Swedish Handball Association, and he’s even a trainer for one handball team in Stockholm—IFK Stocksund PO2. For two years starting in 2016, he also served as President of the Swedish Olympic Committee.
5. He’s a founding member for an important organization.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development might be a mouthful to say, but it’s one of the most important contributions of the telecommunications industry towards the developing world. Vestberg is one of the 51 commissioners for the organization that seeks to promote better broadband infrastructure in developing nations and underserved communities.
6. His relationship with Ericsson didn’t end well.
Unfortunately, Vestberg involuntarily stepped down as CEO of Ericsson back in 2016 due to abysmal profitability reports. It’s been rumored that Vestberg’s exit was part of a large executive restructuring that came as a result of improper executive salary handling and inappropriate executive spending habits despite the company’s financial troubles.
7. He is multilingual.
It must come from having traveled to and having worked at so many different places in the world throughout his career, but Vestberg speaks 4 different languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, and his native Swedish. It’s certainly a great attribute for someone who works in the global telecommunications industry to be able to speak more than one language fluently.
8. He’s the man behind the network.
While many others handled the work, Vestberg can be attributed as the chief architect of Verizon’s 4G LTE rollout. That’s an impressive feat altogether considering how large Verizon’s network really is. While in position as CEO, Vestberg plans to see the 5G wireless network establish as well.
9. He’s got a lot riding on his position.
There are a lot of things going on in the wireless world with mergers and acquisitions, and Vestberg is in the middle of it all. Many people are anticipating where he will take Verizon—whether he will follow the networking route and compete with the likes of T-Mobile or grow the company into a media and entertainment powerhouse the way AT&T has been pursuing.
10. He hasn’t even started.
Vestberg’s position was literally just announced recently, and he’s not even officially CEO until August 1 of this year. Yet already he’s got plenty of eyes and speculation on his moves. Vestberg was Verizon’s Chief Technology Officer for only one year before he was announced to replace previous CEO Lowell McAdam. The shakeup is an interesting one and something that will determine the future of Verizon altogether.