Verizon Telecom's Marketing Chief To Retire

Verizon Telecom chief marketing officer Marilyn O'Connell, who led the initial launch of FiOS TV, will retire at the end of the year.

O’Connell, whom Multichannel Newsnamed one of its 2007 Wonder Women, got her start in the telecommunications business in 1984 with GTE, which merged with Bell Atlantic in 2000 to form Verizon.

She later headed Verizon’s Broadband Solutions group, which encompassed data and video products delivered over the FiOS network, before turning full-time to TV in 2004. O’Connell last year took over the CMO spot at Verizon Telecom, overseeing marketing and strategy of phone, broadband and video services for consumers and small business.

Verizon said a replacement for O’Connell will be named shortly.

In an announcement sent to employees, O’Connell said, “I’m very proud of all the marketing team’s accomplishments, in particular their success in driving FiOS strategy and implementation. We took on incumbent cable competitors and made them respond to our game. This team is absolutely the best in the business.”

Verizon Telecom president Virginia Ruesterholz said in a statement that O’Connell “was instrumental in shaping our FiOS service—handling product development, content acquisition and customer experience management. We have benefitted from her strategic thinking, her strong leadership and her great marketing mind.”

In building out the FiOS TV team in 2004, O’Connell hired Terry Denson, vice president of programming and marketing, who now oversees Verizon’s content acquisition for broadband and wireless as well.

O’Connell’s retirement was reported Thursday by The Wall Street Journal.