What makes him powerful:
Lowell McAdam, Verizon
Lowell McAdam's influence as Verizon Wireless' (NYSE: VZ) former President and CEO is well known throughout the telecom and wireless industries. During his tenure at Verizon Wireless, McAdam oversaw the wireless operator's move to LTE and of course the introduction of the iPhone.
But in October 2010, McAdam was tapped as Verizon Communications' President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) just on the heels of fellow Verizon veteran and then Chief Financial Officer (CFO) John Killian, who decided to retire after 30 years with the telco.
The appointment was significant in that McAdam is now next in line to head the kingdom after current CEO and Chairman Ivan Seidenberg retires later this year.
As the president and chief operating officer of Verizon Communications, McAdam now oversees both Verizon Wireless and Verizon Business in addition to Verizon Services Operations.
On the wireline side, Verizon's three main initiatives throughout 2011 are centered on consumer broadband, business and cloud services.
With cable operators upping the ante on their voice offerings and as more consumers cut their landline cord for alternative VoIP providers like Skype and Vonage (NYSE: VG), McAdam's obvious challenge will be in boosting wireline with other services.
Despite slowing down the amount of cities and towns where it's targeting FTTH-based FiOS, Verizon continues to incorporate innovations and see success wherever it offers the service. In Q1 2011, Verizon added 207,000 net FiOS Internet and 192,000 net FiOS TV additions and ARPU for FiOS customers continues to be more than $146.
No less important for McAdam in 2011 will be executing on Verizon's business services sector strategy, with particular attention to cloud and Ethernet services.
In February, Verizon made its boldest move in the cloud services space when it purchased Terremark. Already on an aggressive data center buildout of its own, the Terremark acquisition instantly advanced the service provider's cloud service and data center power.
It's likely that if McAdam applies the same mentality to all of Verizon, he'll have the same measure of success.