Verizon’s new CSO 'ready to hit the ground’

Just in time for the ever-important fourth quarter, Verizon is getting a new chief sales officer (CSO) for the Verizon Consumer Group.

Kevin Zavaglia sales
Kevin Zavaglia (Verizon)

The new CSO is Kevin Zavaglia, who’s returning to Verizon on Tuesday, October 10, after spending three years at Intuit leading its U.S. Mass Market sales team. The service provider announced the news late last week.

“I never envisioned returning home to Verizon, but this is a tremendous opportunity that I’m extremely excited about. I’ve learned a lot outside of the company and am ready to hit the ground running to ensure we deliver solid fourth quarter results,” Zavaglia said in a statement.

Zavaglia spent about 26 years with Verizon and its predecessors before his departure three years ago. His career dates back to the days of Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile. Most of his career at Verizon has been in the New York/New Jersey region but he was also led the Northern California region for Verizon Wireless.

In a LinkedIn post, Zavaglia thanked several people, including Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg and Verizon Consumer Group CEO Sowmyanarayan Sampath. Zavaglia will report directly to Sampath.

In May, Sampath announced that Kelley Kurtzman would serve as interim CSO for the consumer unit, kicking off a search for a full-time CSO. Kurtzman will be retiring at the end of this year after more than 30 years in the business.

“I want to thank Kelley Kurtzman for her leadership of the Sales and Operations team through an incredible amount of transformation over the past few months. Kelley has been the backbone of Sales and provided a steady and strong hand to move the organization forward quickly,” Sampath said in a statement. “I’m incredibly proud to have Kevin Zavaglia join my leadership team. Kevin’s decades of retail, digital and B2B customer experience, as well as his ability to drive results inside and outside Verizon will be a great asset to my team and help continue to move our business forward.” 

Sampath was named to his current post earlier this year after some upheaval among the executive ranks. Vestberg himself had been filling the Consumer Group CEO position for a few months after the company ousted Manon Brouillette, who lasted less than a year as CEO of the consumer business. She had been appointed to the post when Ronan Dunne departed.

Verizon has been struggling with postpaid phone net additions. In the second quarter, it reported postpaid phone net additions of 8,000, comprised of 144,000 net adds from its Business sector and 136,000 net losses from its Consumer division.

Verizon reports Q3 results on October 24. The third quarter will be the first full quarter where it has offered the new MyPlan rate plans, and Wall Street analysts are looking at that as a key step in the company’s Consumer segment turn-around. In a report last week, analysts at TD Cowen also said they’re encouraged by the revamped sales structure from a group compensation model to an individual compensation style.

As CSO, Zavaglia will be responsible for every aspect of Verizon’s postpaid mobile sales team, including corporate-owned and agent-owned channels and operations. 

Addressing Verizon employees – internally referred to as the V-Team – he said on LinkedIn: “I’m back, I’m ready to go, I feel like we have unfinished business and I can’t wait to get started.”