Verizon Communications announced Thursday that its chief financial officer Fran Shammo plans to retire at the end of 2016 following a 27-year tenure. He will step down as CFO and executive vice president on Nov. 1 prior to his retirement.
Matt Ellis, senior vice president and CFO of operations finance, will succeed Shammo. Ellis currently heads up the New York-based telco's wireless and wireline business divisions.
Shammo's retirement comes as Verizon continues its transition to diversify outside of wireless by particularly expanding its footprint in digital media, advertising technology and telematics, among other areas.
In fact, Shammo has been leading Verizon's finance and strategic strategies since November 2010 and has been a key figure in much of the telco's major M&A.
Under his leadership, Verizon paid $4.4 billion for AOL and AOL subsequently bought Millennial Media for $250 million last year. Earlier this summer, the telco emerged as the winner in the auction for Yahoo! (YHOO) and agreed to shell out $4.83 billion with plans to merge the Internet company with AOL. Verizon, which had been widely anticipated to score Yahoo! even before the Starboard Value-inspired sale process launched, has particularly highlighted its excitement for Yahoo! Sports, Finance and News since announcing the deal.
Meanwhile, Verizon also entered the telematics field in 2012 by purchasing Hughes Telematics for $612 million and has continued to expand its footprint. This year, it has already scooped up privately held Telogis and Fleetmatics Group (FLTX) for $2.4 billion.
Also in 2016, Verizon agreed to buy fiber network operator XO Communications for $1.8 billion from Carl Icahn.
Elsewhere on the M&A front, the telco is currently exploring strategic alternatives for its data center assets that largely consist of the Terremark Worldwide assets it paid $1.9 billion for in 2011.
Also on the divestiture side, Verizon sold its wireline operations in California, Florida and Texas to Frontier Communications (FTR - Get Report) for $10.54 billion in addition to a portfolio of wireless towers to American Tower (AMT - Get Report) last year. In 2013, Verizon took full control of Verizon Wireless by buying a 45% stake in the business from Vodafone Group (VOD) .
"This is a great time for me to make this personal move. For Verizon, 2016 has been a significant transformational year, and I will leave knowing that the company is well-positioned to deliver on its strategic initiatives," Shammo said in a statement.
Before taking on the CFO role, Shammo led Verizon Telecom and Business and played a key role in the launch of Verizon Wireless.
Verizon has enjoyed a solid ride this year especially as the market has rewarded high dividend yields. Shares are up 14% year-to-date.