Marilyn O’Connell

SVP, Video Solutions Retail Markets, Verizon

WHY WE’RE WATCHING: Former cable executive Terry Denson may be the name many in the industry associate with Verizon Communications Inc.’s video plans, but O’Connell is responsible for spearheading the strategic direction, development and implementation of FiOS TV. That means not only securing the content deals, but setting price points and driving the marketing elements. As Verizon obtains more franchises and lobbies for legislation that could accelerate its video push, O’Connell, previously senior vice president of broadband solutions, will emerge as force many will have to reckon with.

HIGH ’05s: “Launching FiOS TV. In less than 18 months, the Verizon team built and launched a new business. And, based on the customer response, it appears we got it right.”

PICKS IN ’06: “For the industry, continued disruption of the current business models. While we will not witness a wholesale change in how customers view content, or how the money flows, there will be more experimentation spurred by technology, new entrants and an emerging market demand for more control over what, how and when consumers want to be informed and entertained.”

EXECUTIVE EVOLUTION: “While we have come along way since I started my career, it still feels like we should be have made more progress by now. There are still far too few women in senior leadership positions and on public boards. That said, Verizon is the most progressive and committed company to diversity that I have worked for.”

MY TIME: “I most enjoy spending time with family and friends. And when I can, traveling with my husband.”