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Verizon president to retire

Lawrence Babbio has been with Verizon Communications and the companies that preceded it for more than 40 years.

Lawrence Babbio Lawrence Babbio

Verizon Communications Vice Chairman and President Lawrence Babbio plans to retire at the end of the first quarter next year, the company announced Monday. Babbio, 62, has worked for Verizon and the companies that preceded it for more than 40 years. He played an important role in the company's acquisition last year of long-distance phone company MCI. More recently, he has been overseeing Verizon's telecommunications and business units while sitting on the scandal-mired board of Hewlett-Packard. Verizon said it will announce transition plans in the next few weeks.

In the company's quest to compete with cable operators, Verizon has engaged in an aggressive strategy to upgrade its network with fiber-optic cabling all the way to customers' doorsteps. With high-speed fiber in place, the company is offering superfast broadband connectivity, telephony service and television. The network, called Fios, is expected to cost Verizon about $18 billion through 2010. The company said at the end of the third quarter of this year that it now has 522,000 Fios Internet customers and 118,000 TV service subscribers.