NEW YORK - William P. Barr, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) executive vice president and general counsel since the company's inception in 2000, announced plans today to retire at the end of this year. Verizon expects to name a successor soon.
Barr, 58, previously was general counsel at GTE, which merged with Bell Atlantic to become Verizon. Prior to his 14-year career in the communications industry, Barr was U.S. Attorney General under then-President George H.W. Bush.
"Bill's leadership and impact on Verizon and our entire industry have been extraordinary," said Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan G. Seidenberg. "He has set the standard for what it means to be a superior general counsel, paving the way for the restructuring of the communications marketplace, leading the charge to deregulate telecommunications companies following the Telecom Act of 1996, and enabling a new era of consolidation and growth.
"That, combined with his exemplary service to our nation and his prowess as an attorney, make Bill's legacy exceptional," Seidenberg said. "We have valued his advice and counsel greatly, and we will miss him, knowing his contributions to society are no doubt far from over."
Barr said, "It has been a rare privilege to work under Ivan's leadership as he has led Verizon's historic transformation, redefining the telecommunications space while making Verizon the premier broadband and wireless provider in the U.S. Because of his vision, the skills of his superior leadership team and the remarkable efforts of all Verizon employees, the future of our company as an industry leader is assured. I will always be proud of being part of the Verizon family. With the foundation for our continued success well established, this is a logical time for me to retire."
Barr will work over the next three months with Seidenberg to ensure a seamless transition as a new general counsel is named.
Barr began working in telecommunications in 1994, when he joined GTE as executive vice president of government and regulatory advocacy, general counsel. He served in that capacity from 1994 until GTE merged with Bell Atlantic to become Verizon in June, 2000.
Prior to his work in the telecommunications industry, Barr was Attorney General of the United States, was on the White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Reagan, and served in the Central Intelligence Agency.
As Attorney General from 1991 to 1993, Barr established innovative programs to combat violent crime and set significant new enforcement policies in a wide range of areas, including financial institutions, civil rights and antitrust merger guidelines. He started with the Department of Justice as assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel in 1989, and then served as deputy attorney general before his appointment as attorney general in November 1991.
Barr started his legal career as law clerk to Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. From 1982 to 1983, he served on the White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Reagan, and then returned to the Washington, D.C., law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge, where he practiced as a partner until 1989. Barr received a bachelor's degree in government in 1971 and a master's degree in government and Chinese studies in 1973 from Columbia University. He received his juris doctor degree with highest honors from George Washington University in 1977.
Barr serves on the boards of Selected Funds and Holcim US, and is a member of the bar in the District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey and Virginia. He also serves as a Trustee of the Inner-City Scholarship Fund of New York.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 69 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.