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Financial Times, June 27, 2008 article



Leader defends group’s shareholder return record

By Andrew Parker in London

Published: June 26 2008 23:33 | Last updated: June 26 2008 23:33


Ivan Seidenberg shows no sign of planning to step down from the top job at Verizon Communications.

Now 61, he has led Verizon since its creation in 2000, first as co-chief executive, and then as sole chief executive from 2002. He became chairman in 2004.

He defends Verizon’s record on total shareholder return, while admitting that the past three years have been better than the previous two.

Verizon’s latest annual report highlights how its total return was inferior to the S&P 500 telecoms index as well as the S&P 500 between December 2002 and December 2007.

“If you ask me am I satisfied with our TSR record as it compares to all industry, the answer is no,” says Mr Seidenberg. “Now if you look at the last three years, we’ve done very well.”

After a rise of 15 per cent last year, Verizon’s stock is down almost 18 per cent this year, in line with how telecoms companies have seen their shares fall because of concern they will get hurt by the global economic slowdown.

Mr Seidenberg began his work in the communications industry more than 40 years ago as a cable splicer’s assistant.

Married with two children, he is a native of New York City.




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