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Over 10,000 Verizon employees accept buyout offer; Sprint strategy chief departs

S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of executive changes in the U.S. technology, media and telecommunications industries.


* About 10,400 employees have accepted Verizon Communications Inc.'s voluntary separation offer, as the U.S. carrier tries to cut costs by reducing its workforce. The company had 152,300 employees at the end of the third quarter in 2018. The move is part of the carrier's plans to cut $10 billion in costs. The voluntary separation program offers up to 60 weeks' salary, bonus and benefits, depending on length of service, the company said Dec. 10. The last date on the payroll for the affected employees will be either year-end 2018, the end of March 2019 or June 2019.

* Michael Kraft stepped down as president and CEO of Lingo Media Corp. and accepted the position of board chairman. COO Gali Bar-Ziv will now serve as president and CEO, and was appointed to Lingo's board. The management changes followed the company's annual and special shareholders meeting Dec. 11. At the meeting, shareholders re-elected Jerry Grafstein, Robert Martellacci, Martin Bernholtz, Tommy Weibing Gong and Kraft as directors.

* Francois McGillicuddy will be the new president of the Big Ten Network (US), Multichannel News reported Dec. 11. McGillicuddy, who will start in his new role in early 2019, succeeds Mark Silverman, who in January was promoted to president of National Networks, Fox Sports. McGillicuddy most recently served as senior vice president and general manager of FOX Sports Ohio (US) and SportsTime Ohio (US).

Media and technology industry moves

* Former WeWork Cos. Inc. executive Geraldine Calpin joined Madison Square Garden Co. as executive vice president and chief marketing officer. In this role, Calpin will oversee the overall marketing and digital strategy for Madison Square Garden, according to a Dec. 12 news release. Calpin previously served WeWork as chief marketing officer — Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

* Scott Knoll is stepping down as president and CEO of Integral Ad Science Inc. The company has tapped former Yahoo executive Lisa Utzschneider to be its new CEO and board member, effective Jan. 7, 2019. Knoll will move into an advisory role for the company, according to a Dec. 12 news release. Utzschneider previously served as chief revenue officer at Yahoo.

* Snap Inc. tapped Julie Henderson to be chief communications officer of the company. In this role, Henderson will oversee communications globally for Snap, according to a Dec. 10 news release. Henderson will take over duties from Mary Ritti, Snap's vice president of communications, who decided to leave the company last summer. Henderson currently serves as executive vice president and chief communications officer for 21st Century Fox Inc.

* Donna Coleman will retire as CFO of Madison Square Garden as of Jan. 1, 2019. The company tapped Victoria Mink, currently executive vice president of finance, to succeed Coleman as executive vice president and CFO, according to a Dec. 10 news release. Coleman will remain with the company through March 2019 to assist with the transition process.

* The former head of Facebook Inc.'s operations in India has joined Japan's SoftBank Group Corp.'s SoftBank Investment Advisers, the team that manages the SoftBank Vision Fund, as its first venture partner, Indian news service VCCircle reported Dec. 7. In her new role, Kirthiga Reddy will oversee SoftBank's investments in frontier and enterprise technologies globally, working with Senior Managing Partner Deep Nishar, the report said.

* Professional networking company LinkedIn Corp. has secured clearance for expanding its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., allowing it to bring in more employees, The Mercury News of San Jose, Calif., reported Dec. 4. The Microsoft Corp. unit aims to hire 3,060 additional employees that will be housed in the revamped campus, according to the report.

Communication industry moves

* Kevin Crull will step down as chief strategy officer of Sprint Corp., effective Dec. 31. Crull joined the company as marketing chief in May 2015.

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