Verizon’s Dan Mead to retire; John Stratton is new wireless chief

Verizon made a surprise annoucement in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday. Dan Mead, Verizon Communications EVP and CEO of Verizon Wireless, is retiring and Verizon’s EVP in charge of global enterprise and consumer wireline operations John Stratton, has taken over the day-to-day operation of Verizon’s core mobile business in addition to his wireline duties.

Mead, who became [company]Verizon[/company]’s wireless chief in 2010 and is now age 61, isn’t leaving the company before finishing a final housekeeping, item though. In the filing, which was first spotted by Wireless Week, Verizon said Mead has been appointed EVP and President of Strategic Initiatives. His sole responsibility will be overseeing the transfer of Verizon’s wireline networks in California, Florida and Texas to [company]Frontier Communications[/company], a deal announced earlier this month, after which he is expected to retire.

As for Stratton, he isn’t assuming Mead’s full title of President and CEO of Verizon Wireless. Instead he was named EVP and President of Operations, but that doesn’t necessarily mean his role will be diminished. Verizon Wireless has always had a weird organizational structure because for most of its life it had two corporate parents: Verizon Communications and [company]Vodafone[/company]. Consequently Verizon and Verizon Wireless always had two different CEOs, CTOs and pretty much every other C-level position.

That changed when Verizon bought out Vodafone’s stake last year for $130 billion. It looks like Verizon is now taking this opportunity to normalize its executive titles, but as Mead did before him, Stratton will report directly to Verizon’s biggest cheese: Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam.

And in case you’re keeping count, Mead’s retirement means the number of nationwide carrier chiefs with mustaches is now down from two to a mere one. [company]AT&T[/company] Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega, wear your stache proudly!

Ex-Qualcomm exec Rob Chandhok joins IoT startup Helium

Qualcomm’s former internet of things big idea guy Rob Chandhok has found a new home at a much smaller company, but he’s doing very similar work. He’s joined a startup called Helium that’s focused on building the wireless links between all of the things in IoT.

Helium announced Chandhok’s appointment as COO, president and board member on Tuesday, the same day it also announced a $16 million Series A round led by Khosla Ventures. FirstMark Capital, Digital Garage, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, SV Angel and Slow Ventures also participated.

Helium is taking on the difficult task of creating a new wireless networking protocol specifically for the internet of things, an approach already being explored by companies like SigFox and organizations like the Bluetooth and Weightless special interest groups.

Twitter’s VP of product, Michael Sippey, plans to leave the company

Michael Sippey, Twitter’s (s twtr) VP of Products, announced on Friday that he would be stepping down to an advisory role at the company. “Over the past few weeks I’ve talked with Dick and Ali about what I want next in my career, and what Twitter needs at this stage of its life,” Sippey said. “And I’ve decided that it’s time for me to move on.”

Sippey, who spent time at SAY Media before joining Twitter in 2012, scaled Twitter’s platform and mobile offerings as well as Tweetdeck and Vine post-acquisition.

In business, the iPad is for bigwigs and shot-callers

The iPad’s assault on the enterprise definitely appears to be a top-down phenomenon, according to a new report, with most users of one popular business app holding management positions. The report also suggests the iPad may be a means to extend the work week

Apple Execs: Tablets Will Eclipse PCs, iOS Stronger Than Ever

Apple executives expressed supreme confidence in the future of iOS during a meeting with Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Shope. And Apple COO Tim Cook thinks the iPad is on track for even more impressive success as the tablet market moves to eclipse PC sales.

iPod Chief Switch: What it Could Mean for Apple

For those of you who don’t know, Apple is currently embroiled in a legal dispute over former IBM exec Mark Papermaster, whom they recently lured away from the IT firm. The apparent purpose of pinching Papermaster, according to news this week, is to replace iPod chief Tony Fadell. It’s a big mess that’s attracting a lot of attention. The shift raises larger questions about just how far a non-compete clause can extend, and points to major overhauls coming up in Apple’s iPod line.
First, IBM is reluctant to see Papermaster go to Apple. Understandably so, considering the former VP’s role as one of the main architects of IBM’s POWER microprocessor technology, which formed the basis for the Apple-IBM-Motorola developed PowerPC architecture. As Apple competes directly with IBM in server, PC, and microprocessor tech (owing to the recent purchase of P.A. Semi), IBM is claiming that Papermaster would be violating his non-compete clause and potentially transferring valuable IP and trade secrets to his new employer.
Read More about iPod Chief Switch: What it Could Mean for Apple