Verizon Region President Ed Weise to Retire; Suri Surinder To Head Company's North Central Region Operations

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Ed Weise, region president for Verizon's North Central region, has announced his retirement after 37 years in the telecommunications industry. Suri Surinder, currently executive director - customer response in Verizon's National Operations organization, will succeed Weise, effective Sept. 14. Surinder will move from Maryland and be based in Fort Wayne.

"Ed's strong leadership skills, his knowledge and experience, and his partnership with all departments in the region have led to improved service quality and customer satisfaction," said David DeStefano, senior vice president-Customer Operations North. "Ed has also been a strong ambassador for Verizon in Fort Wayne through his community involvement. I want to thank him for his many years of dedicated service and wish him well in his retirement."

Surinder joined Verizon in 1992 and has held a succession of positions of increasing responsibility in marketing, operations, finance, business development, strategic planning and process re-engineering. He has worked in several Verizon divisions, including Public Communications, International and Long Distance. Before joining Verizon, he worked in the banking, utilities and pharmaceutical industries.

He received a B.S. in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, a master's degree in structural engineering from Rice University in Houston, a master's degree in marketing from The City University of New York and a doctorate in business from Concordia University.

In his new position, Surinder will be responsible for installation, repair, outside plant construction and customer satisfaction for approximately 4 million customers in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. He will report to DeStefano.

"We're looking forward to having Suri on the Operations North team," DeStefano said. "He has a strong customer focus and a broad background in this business. He has achieved outstanding operational and financial results in the Customer Response repair organization."

Weise began his telecommunications career in 1966 with GTE Sylvania Entertainment Products Division in Batavia, N.Y., and advanced through a variety of managerial positions with Sylvania and GTE in California and Texas. In 1986, he was named director - supply and transportation for GTE's Northwest region in Everett, Wash., and later appointed vice president - operations, also in Washington.

Between 1991 and 1997, he was vice president and then president of the Virginia region. In 1997, he accepted his current position as North Central region president.

Weise has served on the boards of directors of numerous civic and cultural organizations throughout his career. He currently serves on the board of trustees for the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and is a long-time member of the Northeast Indiana Corporate Council and the Fort Wayne Business Metro Group.

Weise characterized his lengthy career as rewarding, fulfilling and challenging.

"Through all of the changes I've experienced during my career, the one constant has been the opportunity to work with so many outstanding, dedicated employees," he said. "I'm very proud of the North Central Region team and what they have accomplished."

A native of Altoona, Pa., Weise received a bachelor's degree in management science from The State University of New York at Buffalo and a master's degree in business administration from Amber University in Dallas in 1985. He also served in the U.S. Army from 1962 to 1965.

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues and 221,000 employees. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 137.6 million access line equivalents and 34.6 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 14.6 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.