Toben to retire from Verizon CFO slot

Verizon Communications CFO Doreen Toben, who has been in her job for seven years and has been a Verizon employee for many more, announced last week that she will retire "around the middle of this year," according to The Wall Street Journal.  Her decision comes after a two-decade career in which she integrated major acquisitions and sold the company's high-priced fiber optic broadband network to skeptics on Wall Street. The company said it will announce a successor soon.

During Toben's tenure as CFO, Verizon became the largest telco in the U.S., if only briefly. That happened after Verizon acquired MCI in 2005; it was later surpassed in overall market value and assets by AT&T, when AT&T acquired BellSouth. The WSJ story also notes that it was Toben who touted Verizon's massive fiber-to-the-home FiOS investment to a skeptical Wall Street a few years ago. That investment is not yet over, but has begun to pay off, as Verizon has become among the most successful telco TV providers in the world. Toben oversaw the company's fourth-quarter and full-year 2008 earnings results last month, showcasing ongoing growth even amid the troubling economy.

We have seen many a CFO step down amid horrible financial results or controversy in recent years, so it is nice to see one of the more respected telecom CFOs going out on her own terms, if not at the top, then somewhere close to it.

For more:
- The Wall Street Journal has this story

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