Lowell McAdam, 56, has been named president and chief operating officer Verizon Communications effective on 11 October.
McAdam, currently CEO of Verizon Comunications' Verizon Wireless unit, will report to Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg, according to a statement issued by the company.
The company added that the appointment of McAdam will allow the two to work together to prepare for McAdam's transition to CEO once Seidenberg retires. No timetable for the transition was announced.
"Lowell is undeniably the right executive at the right time, given his track record of growth while managing one of the most dynamic and successful businesses in America," Seidenberg said in a statement.
Verizon Wireless is the largest U.S. wireless carrier, with more than 92 million subscribers, according to the company's most recent quarterly results.
Overall, the parent company reported $26.8 billion in revenues for its second quarter, which includes wireless and wired businesses such as FiOS TV and Internet as well as enterprise services.
Seidenberg, 63, has headed the company since it was formed in 2000.