Former Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg was named EVP of Verizon’s Network and Technology team, as the largest US operator unveiled a new operating structure.

Vestberg, who left troubled vendor Ericsson in July 2016 following board pressure, will join Verizon on 3 April and be charged with leading “an organisation responsible for further developing the architecture of Verizon’s fibre-centric networks”, according to a statement.

The former Ericsson executive will report to Verizon chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam, and will initially be based in Sweden before joining the US-based team later in the year.

Network and Technology is one of three areas Verizon said it will focus on as part of a new operating structure.

In addition, the company named Marni Walden, current president of product innovation and new business, to head up a new media and telematics division, while John Stratton, president of operations, will now lead customer and product operations.

Media and telematics will focus on scaling and growing Verizon’s portfolio of new businesses, which includes combining AOL with the assets of Yahoo.

Customer and product operations will focus on “operating and growing” Verizon’s established businesses, including Verizon Wireless and Verizon Enterprise.

McAdam said in a statement the new structure was designed “to accelerate our progress to delivering the promise of the digital world to customers”.

Surprise move
However, it is Vestberg’s appointment at Verizon which will raise the most eyebrows across the industry.

The announcement comes on the same week Borje Ekholm, his successor at Ericsson, outlined a restructure and his own vision to revive the struggling vendor.

Vestberg left Ericsson in something of a crisis, following poor results and looming cost cutting measures, including redundancies.

He held the position for six years, and served at the Swedish vendor for 28 years in total.

Expanding on his new role at Verizon, the company said Vestberg’s team will also focus on delivering seamless network experiences for customers, whether on Wi-Fi, 4G, 5G or future technologies.