Verizon names Maggie Hallbach new head of public sector

Verizon has a new head of its public sector business, announcing Monday that Maggie Hallbach has stepped into the role of senior vice president.

Hallbach is a 25-year Verizon veteran, most recently as VP of business development and strategic sales for the sector. She is taking over for Jennifer Chronis, who has left the company, according to Verizon, less than a year after taking the helm of Verizon’s public sector unit last April.

In her new position, Hallbach is in charge of leading Verizon teams across federal, state, local, education and public safety segments. She will report to Verizon Business CRO Sampath Sowmyanarayan.

“Maggie’s background, deep relationships and expertise in the public sector enable her to partner strategically with our customers to help them achieve their missions through innovation and digitization,” said Sowmyanarayan in a statement. “Maggie is exactly the right person to lead and grow our Verizon Public Sector business and continue the incredible momentum we have experienced with our federal, state, local, education and Verizon Frontline customers.” 

During her most recent role at Verizon, Hallbach focused on developing and capturing strategic opportunities in the public sector. Last month she spoke to Fierce about leveraging partnerships, such as a recent 5G lab deployment with Arizona State University, to explore how 5G can be utilized across many aspects be it healthcare or public safety.

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Hallbach’s also led Verizon’s Lean Six Sigma efforts to improve processes and business modernization across Verizon Business. Her time at Verizon also included roles as VP of state, local and education markets.

As part of her appointment to lead the public sector, Hallbach also is joining the board of directors at the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the United Service Organizations.

“I am grateful every day to work with people who are all focused on delivering the most transformative solutions – built on the most reliable and secure networks – that modernize and safeguard critical infrastructure, and enable those in public service to achieve their missions,” said Hallbach. “It’s an amazing time in the public sector, and with this world-class team and the launch of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband, there are no limits to how we can partner with our customers to help them better serve their constituents.”

In the public safety portion of the sector, Verizon’s faced increased competition – namely from AT&T and its deployment of the dedicated public safety network FirstNet. For its own public safety efforts, Verizon said it provided public safety agencies with nearly 9,000 Frontline devices across repeaters, mobile hotspots, drones and others in 2021, marking a new high for the Verizon Response Team.

In recent months it scored wins with federal customers, including two Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contracts from the U.S. Department of Energy valued at $34.6 million. In September the U.S. Department of Labor tapped Verizon Public Sector for five 12-year contracts to update the agency’s network infrastructure and services, collectively worth $887 million.

It’s also working with the military to deliver 5G service at 17 Air Force bases under contracts with the Department of Defense, the latest announced last fall.

RELATED: DoD picks Verizon to install 5G, C-band at 7 Air Force bases

Still, Verizon’s public sector saw double-digit revenue declines in the fourth quarter of 2021, which executives attributed to the higher distance learning activity in 2020 during the pandemic that had boosted results the year prior. During the earnings call, CFO Matt Ellis said the public sector faced elevated pressure in the quarter, which the carrier expects to moderate in 2022. He also said the Verizon Frontline public safety campaign was resonating with stakeholders and helping to drive new customer group.

As part of Verizon’s business unit, the public sector contributed $1.5 billion to the business segment’s total fourth quarter revenue of $7.8 billion. That was down 12.1% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020 when the public sector brought in $1.7 billion. For the full year 2021 public sector revenues of $6.32 billion were down slightly (0.6%) versus 2020.