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Lowell McAdam to take over as Verizon CEO

McAdam, who serves as president and chief operating officer, has been the appointed successor since October and officially takes over on August 1.

Lowell McAdam gets a new title on August 1. Sarah Tew/CNET

Verizon Communications said today that Lowell McAdam will officially take over as chief executive on August 1.

McAdam takes the reins from longtime Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg, who will retain his chairman title. McAdam was widely known as the heir apparent when he was promoted to president and chief operating officer in October. He previously ran Verizon Wireless, which is jointly owned by Verizon and Vodafone Group.

"His stellar leadership of Verizon Wireless and his outstanding 28-year career in the telecommunications industry have positioned Lowell to understand the potential of our company and the actions that need to be taken every day to attain that potential," Seidenberg said in a statement today.

McAdam, unsurprisingly, was equally gracious in accepting the new role.

"It's been a smooth transition by any measure, and we have Ivan to thank for that," McAdam said during a conference call today. "He had a clear plan from the beginning, and it was to focus on the customer and the investor."

McAdam's upcoming move comes after a wider reshuffling of management within the industry. Sprint and AT&T both have new financial chiefs, and T-Mobile USA's chief executive, Philipp Humm, took over late last year.

Seidenberg has declared his successor early, making the process gradual and smooth. Over the past few months, Seidenberg has backed away from the public spotlight, preferring to let McAdam take center stage. That's a contrast from his 18-year tenure as head of Verizon, in which he participated regularly in earnings conference calls and media interview. He continues to serve as the chairman of the Business Roundtable.

McAdam hasn't been low profile himself. He spearheaded Verizon's partnership with Google and the creation of the Motorola Droid, which helped the carrier beat back the competition from the iPhone.

Verizon's leadership change posts solid second-quarter results, helped largely by the wireless business.

Updated at 6:54 a.m. PT: with additional background and executive comment.