Investors cheered the news by ratcheting up U.S. Cellular’s share price 7.5 percent to $41.15 by almost 1 p.m. Eastern on Monday.
Mary Dillon will take over on June 1 when U.S. Cellular’s CEO, John Rooney, retires. Dillon, 48, is well-known in the consumer retail market. She served as McDonald’s Corp.’s global chief marketing officer since 2005 and, before that, worked as president of PepsiCo Inc.’s Quaker Foods unit.
Leroy Carlson Jr., chairman of U.S. Cellular and president and CEO of TDS Inc., the company that owns 82 percent of U.S. Cellular, said Dillon fits well with the mobile provider’s needs.
“Mary has the rich consumer marketing background and strong operational experience to lead U.S. Cellular to superior long-term growth and success,” Carlson said in a press release.
Indeed, U.S. Cellular requires such expertise. The Chicago-headquartered carrier on Monday reported a 43 percent drop in first-quarter earnings, fewer new subscribers, lower average revenue per user and higher expenses. Dillon will work to appeal to consumers who are choosing larger rivals over U.S. Cellar.
“U.S. Cellular is positioned for a strong and healthy future,” Dillon said in a prepared statement.
U.S. Cellular had yet to file details of Dillon’s compensation and employment terms with the Securities and Exchange Commission.