NEW YORK -- Some quarter of a million employees formerly with Bell Atlantic and GTE today put their "eyes on Verizon" in celebration of the launch of the now merged companies under the new name Verizon Communications.
The merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE was finalized last Friday, June 30, and the company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the new symbol VZ on Monday, July 3. A Fortune 10 company, Verizon joins the ranks of America's top 10 employers, with more than 260,000 employees.
Today, "Eyes on Verizon" employee celebrations will take place at hundreds of company locations nationwide to mark the launch of the new business.
"The employees of Bell Atlantic and GTE have worked hard for two years in support of our merger," said Verizon Chairman and Co-CEO Charles R. Lee, who joined in the employee celebrations in New York City. "Great companies are created by great employees, and as we celebrate the creation of Verizon, we also celebrate the formation of one of the most skilled and diverse work forces in the world."
"Verizon's national scale and scope will help us strengthen our local presence and relationships by enabling us to offer customers a bundle of communications services tailored to their specific needs," added Verizon President and Co-CEO Ivan Seidenberg, who helped lead celebrations with employees in Southern California. "It's our people who will make Verizon the world's most respected brand in communications."
Customers began to see the new Verizon logo in key company locations on the World Wide Web (at www.verizon.com ) and in the media last Friday. The full launch of the brand is scheduled to begin in August, when customers will start to see and hear Verizon-branded bills, Verizon print, TV and radio advertisements, and hardhats with Verizon logos.
The company will make the full, nationwide conversion to the new brand over the next 18 months, re-branding some 57,000 vehicles, 250,000 public phones, 3,000 buildings and a multitude of live greetings and recorded announcements.
Verizon employees will be featured in an upcoming series of ads scheduled to begin in August to create awareness of the new company name. Featured in these print ads are New York City-based employees Debbie Adams, splicer, and Jorge Flores, operator/associate, and Dallas-based employees Sheri Henderson, construction cable splicer, Homero Martinez, supervisor - customer contact, and Andrea Lenoir, assistant marketing manager.
A major multi-media advertising campaign is planned for the fall to define and differentiate the Verizon brand in all its major markets.
Communities across the nation will benefit from the Verizon Foundation, which, with a $70 million budget for 2000, is among the nation's top 10 corporate foundations in monies distributed annually. In a separate news release issued yesterday, the Verizon Foundation detailed its plans to help transform the nonprofit community through the use of technology and innovative e-solutions. The use and integration of technology in support of educational initiatives, particularly in the areas of literacy, mathematics and science, is a top priority for the new foundation.
Verizon will be America's literacy champion through Verizon Reads, a public charity that directs a comprehensive national campaign to support literacy. Through a powerful combination of corporate philanthropy, consumer and customer outreach, employee participation and partnering with literacy agencies and notable celebrity supporters across the nation, Verizon Reads addresses literacy from the grassroots to the halls of public policy.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 95 million access lines and 25 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com .