Verizon's John Ferrell to Retire; Suri Surinder Named Successor as Southeast Region Senior Vice President, General Manager

TAMPA, Fla. - John Ferrell, Verizon's Southeast region senior vice president and general manager, today announced his plans to retire from Verizon Friday (Aug. 31), after 35 years of service. 

Ferrell has been responsible for installation, maintenance and network construction, as well as customer service, cost management, sales and local marketing, for Verizon's Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina areas.

The company also announced today that Suri Surinder, currently senior vice president - process assurance and operations support for regional operations -- supporting Verizon's wireline operations in 27 states plus the District of Columbia -- will replace Ferrell in the Southeast.

"John's talents and diverse experience have been instrumental to the success of our business," said Bob Mudge, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Verizon Telecom.  "We have truly benefited from his leadership and his boundless enthusiasm and commitment to deliver excellent service to our customers.  We all wish John and his family the very best."

Surinder said, "Amid a very competitive industry and market, John blazed a trail in the Southeast during nine strong years of leadership. I believe we will maintain the excellent position John has helped create, and will carry Verizon to new heights in the market as we execute our plan of being the broadband communications leader."

Ferrell began his telecommunications career with Contel in 1972.  He held various positions in network management and engineering and served as vice president and director - customer services for Contel of California.  At the Contel/GTE merger in 1996, Ferrell was named general manager - network reliability for GTE California. He subsequently was named regional president for GTE Florida in 1998. 

During his time in Florida, he was active in economic development efforts with the Tampa Bay Partnership, lent his leadership and support to the American Heart Walk, and was involved in other civic and community enterprises.  Since 2004, Ferrell has overseen the company's introduction of the fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network and the subsequent introduction of FiOS voice, very high-speed Internet and TV service in the region.  Currently, the Florida team he leads has deployed over 51 million feet of new fiber in the six-county service area and witnessed the widespread adoption of the advanced FiOS services it delivers, currently available to over 700,000 households in the region.

"I've really enjoyed my years with Verizon," Ferrell said.  "These have been exciting times, and we've successfully managed through a number of challenging transitions. I am thankful I've had the opportunity to work with many very talented and dedicated people, and I'm confident that the direction Verizon has chosen with FiOS is the right one -- and that Suri will help to further solidify Verizon's leadership in the market."

Mudge said, "Suri's deep experience and accomplishments in a number of areas makes him a great fit for this key position.  I know he will hit the ground running."

In his most recent position, Surinder was responsible for centralized line and staff support for the company's nine geographically clustered regions where Verizon provides wireline communication services.  Since joining the company in 1992, he has held positions in a number of organizations, including field operations, customer care, marketing, network planning, strategic planning and finance.  He also served as market area president - North Central and was vice president -- broadband operations for Verizon.

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 more than 62 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 has a diverse workforce of more than 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.