Telecom Timeout

Oct 9 2009   1:32PM GMT

C-Level convergence: It’s getting lonelier at the top

Kate Gerwig Kate Gerwig Profile: Kate Gerwig

We’ve talked and talked about it, and the convergence continues. High C-level positions are biting the dust or being combined with other high C-level positions. Next-gen industry change is finally moving up from the lower levels, the place where employees are used to reorg after reorg. We wonder if “rightsizing” feels any better at the top than it does at the bottom?

Verizon Communications is just one of many providers tweaking at the top. Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg this week said Verizon is eliminating its chief operating officer (COO) position as part of a broader restructuring effort (and it has had many). Recently, BT got rid of its CTO position, and Global Crossing combined its CTO/CIO position into one powerful slot.

The bigger news is that Verizon’s consumer and business landline operations will now be in one big landline pot. Why now? Verizon said it wants to speed up the process of bringing products to market. Maybe. But it takes a lot of time to move a ship that big.

The lines between consumer and business divisions used to be hard and fast. Verizon Business was a combination platter of MCI’s and Verizon’s business customers, which in the old days a couple of years ago, would never be seen in public with the thin-margin consumer business. But landline services have been hit hard by the economy and wireless migration, and now they’re just plain old “landline.”

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