In an expected move, USD alumnus Lowell McAdam ’83 (MBA) today was named chief executive officer for Verizon Communications Inc., the U.S.’ second-largest phone company. The change is effective August 1.
McAdam, who has held key executive positions within the company since it was named Verizon in 2000, has served as president and chief operating officer of Verizon Communications. He replaces Ivan Seidenberg as CEO. Seidenberg, who will remain as chairman, announced earlier this year his intention to retire.
McAdam’s rise to CEO has come as a result of his efforts with Verizon Wireless, the company’s most profitable piece. He helped build the company into the industry’s leading wireless provider. McAdam was named president and CEO of Verizon Wireless in 2007 and prior to that was executive vice president and chief operating officer.
In March of this year, McAdam was named to Verizon Communication’s Board of Directors, a sign of things to come for the company’s leadership direction.
“This is another important step in the succession process at Verizon,” Seidenberg said in a March 4, 2011 Verizon press release. “Following the board’s appointment of Lowell as president and COO last fall, we have been working to prepare Verizon’s leadership transition, and Lowell has provided outstanding leadership in running the day-to-day operations of the business.”
Seidenberg further praised McAdam in Verizon’s 2010–11 Corporate Responsibility Report. “I am confident that my successor, Lowell McAdam, will bring fresh energy and new ideas to our corporate responsibility initiatives when I retire. … Lowell’s thumbprint on our culture is already evident in the Verizon Credo, which we introduced company-wide in 2011. In it, we reinforce our belief that building long-term business and social value is at the heart of what we do: We are good corporate citizens and share our success with the community to make the world in which we work better than it was yesterday. I know Lowell will challenge the next generation of Verizon leaders to find a ‘higher gear’ — to use one of his favorite phrases — when it comes to putting our technology to work for society.”
McAdam’s success in the telecommunications business enabled him, and wife Susan, to give a generous $100,000 gift to USD’s School of Business Administration (SBA) last year. The Lowell and Susan McAdam SBA Alumni Lifelong Learning Program helps USD business graduates stay on top of the latest in cutting-edge business practices and research. Alumni attending these events can network and interact with distinguished USD faculty at events around the country.
“Lowell is a true leader in his industry and we’re excited he and Susan have chosen to make this generous gift to USD to provide high-quality business education opportunities for our alumni,” said David Pyke, dean of the SBA. “This is just one more way a USD business degree will continue to pay dividends in the years following graduation.”
McAdam, who was the SBA’s 2008 recipient of the Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award for professional career development, earned his MBA from USD while serving in the Navy. Last year, McAdam reflected on how he continues to refer back to the skills he learned at USD and apply them in his professional career. During a capstone course, he recalled a professor teaching his students to “hold up a problem like a diamond and look at it from different perspectives. I use this technique at Verizon where we look at problems and turn them into opportunities. I picked up more tools getting my MBA at USD than I did anywhere else along the way.”
Verizon Communications is now ready to take its next steps among industry leaders with a USD business graduate at the helm.
— Ryan T. Blystone and Liz Harman
Photo courtesy of Rodney Nakamoto