Verizon Promotes John Stratton to CMO

Former Marketing Chief of Wireless Division Takes Newly Created Position

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- John Stratton, formerly chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless, has been named exec VP-chief marketing officer of parent company Verizon Communications, a newly created position.
John Stratton will be in charge of marketing and branding for all of Verizon's business units, including Verizon Wireless.
John Stratton will be in charge of marketing and branding for all of Verizon's business units, including Verizon Wireless.

Effective Jan. 1, Mr. Stratton will be responsible for the marketing and brand initiatives of all Verizon's business units, including Verizon Wireless, the company said in a statement. Verizon Wireless, Verizon Business and Verizon Telecom will execute their own network, sales and marketing strategies in their specific markets, the company said.

Mr. Stratton's successor
Succeeding Mr. Stratton as CMO is Mike Lanman, 48, who guided the wireless provider through hurricanes as president of Verizon Wireless' Florida region. Mr. Lanman will report to Jack Plating, newly named exec VP-chief operating officer, Verizon Wireless. Mr. Lanman will oversee market strategy and segmentation, pricing, product management, wireless-device procurement, brand management and marketing communications, according to a Verizon Wireless news release.

Verizon Communications spent $356 million in measured media in 2005 and $282 million for the first nine months of 2006, while Verizon Wireless spent $1.4 billion in 2005 and $1.17 billion for the first nine months of 2006, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

The moves come as Verizon faces a consolidating marketplace where cable companies and other telecoms offer consumers a bundle of services ranging from local, long-distance and wireless service to internet access and entertainment.

At arm's length
Traditionally, Verizon Communications kept Verizon Wireless at arm's length, given its 40% Vodaphone ownership. However, it is unclear whether the management shifts will have implications for Verizon's marketing going forward or for its relationships with its advertising agencies. Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson is agency for Verizon Wireless, while Verizon Communications' agencies include independent McGarryBowen.
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