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Stratton, 57, is exiting Verizon after more than 25 years at the telco and predecessor company Bell Atlantic Mobile.

Vestberg is stepping into a role that some people thought would be filled by John Stratton, EVP and president of global operations.

Lowell McAdam will retire as Verizon's CEO effective August 1, when Vestberg takes the reins.

The company said today that "Vestberg has spearheaded Verizon's efforts to deliver seamless experiences for customers over the company's network, while demonstrating a willingness to disrupt established processes and practices to make Verizon stronger and more efficient".

Vestberg, 52, is now chief technology officer and head of global networks for Verizon, the leading U.S. wireless telecom group which also owns the AOL and Yahoo brands and is a major broadband provider.

Investors may be wondering if Vestberg, who was ousted from Ericsson in 2016 following a series of disappointing financial results and pressure from unhappy shareholders, may be the right person to lead Verizon.

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Vestberg, 52, joined the wireless provider previous year and has been working on Verizon's networks, including the 4G LTE network.

Until he retires at year end, McAdam will serve as executive chairman, then become non-executive chairman, the company said in a statement. "The timing of the change could be good as the court decision on AT&T's Time Warner deal comes next week". During his tenure as CEO, McAdam strategically positioned Verizon for next-generation growth.

Verizon Communications Inc named Chief Technology Officer Hans Vestberg as its new CEO on Friday, surprising analysts and signalling the largest US wireless company's priority is building the next-generation 5G network, not expanding further into media content.

Verizon tapped a technology expert as it races against other wireless carriers to develop a 5G network that would deliver faster speeds.

Verizon's stock has grown about 35% in McAdam's tenure according to the Wall Street Journal, better that AT&T. He also led the acquisitions of major media, fiber and telematics assets, including AOL Inc., Yahoo!