Verizon Creates New Operating Structure, Hires Former Ericsson CEO

Verizon Communications said on Friday it would change its operating structure to focus on three areas, and named former Ericsson Chief Executive Officer Hans Vestberg to lead its newly created network and technology team. Vestberg’s team will work on building out the company’s fibre network infrastructures, Verizon said. He will initially be based in Sweden, and is expected to join the US-based team later this spring.

Verizon’s media and telematics unit will focus on growing the company’s new businesses in digital media, including integrating its pending acquisition of Yahoo Inc. It will be led by Marni Walden as executive vice president for media and telematics.

The company’s customer and product operations team, led by John Stratton, will work on operating and growing Verizon’s established businesses, such as Verizon Wireless and Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

Separately, the Associated Press reports that privacy watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation described AppFlash as “spyware.”

You might conclude that it is after reading Verizon’s privacy policy on an upcoming AppFlash service, which promises easier access to search and apps on Android phones. The policy says Verizon may share data on features and services you use, along with the list of apps you have installed on your phone, with other Verizon businesses to target ads.

Not so fast, Verizon says. In a statement to clarify its intentions, Verizon says users must explicitly grant permission before using AppFlash. Verizon says customers will be able to easily disable the service, and no one will be required to use it.

The statement, however, doesn’t say exactly what permission Verizon is seeking. The privacy policy says users can control AppFlash’s access to your location and contact information, but says nothing about giving control over broader usage data. At most, users can turn off ad tracking on the phone by digging through the settings.

Bloomberg News report that Verizon is getting ready to launch an online bundle of TV channels that aims to compete with similar offerings from AT&T, Dish Network and Sony.

The unnamed streaming service could come with “dozens” of channels, according to the report, and may be released as an app as soon as this summer.

With Americans spending more time these days watching video on mobile devices, companies across the media and telecom ecosystem have been racing to offer smaller bundles of cable content over the Internet. They are also seeking to balance out losses in their traditional cable TV subscriptions and to target the tens of millions of Americans who do not subscribe to pay-TV.

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