Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $128.3 billion in 2020. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

MCSC Industry Advisory Board (IAB) Members

James Gowen
Sr. Vice President, Global Supply Chain & Chief Sustainability Officer

James Gowen is Sr. Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Chief Sustainability Officer for Verizon. Since taking on these complementary roles in 2009, his team has enlisted more than 58,000 Verizon employees in 53 countries around the globe in helping to reduce the company’s environmental footprint while increasing the efficiency of a growing enterprise.

Gowen has been deeply involved in the advancement of innovative and sustainable technologies and spearheaded the launch of Verizon’s first ever green bond in the first quarter of 2019. This $1B bond highlights Verizon’s commitments to renewable energy, energy efficiency, water conservation and reforestation. Gowen launched Verizon’s flagship $137M green energy initiative which enabled Verizon to deploy more than 20MW of renewable energy at key company locations. Gowen also oversees other green initiatives throughout the company including setting Verizon’s first approved science based emissions reduction targets, committing to operational net zero emissions, expanding recycling and waste reduction, and management of end-of-life-cycle material recovery.

In his supply chain role, Gowen leads all inventory planning and logistics operations globally. Gowen is responsible for the planning of over $35B of inventory across all Verizon’s lines of business. Additionally, Gowen has responsibility for procurement, warehousing, transportation, quality, returns and end-of-life monetization.

In 2015, Gowen spearheaded the start-up of Verizon Services Ireland Limited in Dublin, Ireland. He was responsible for transitioning $15B in annual spend for strategic sourcing of Verizon’s Network and IT operations. Over 85 industry professionals were hired and a state-of-the-art center of excellence was built under Gowen’s leadership in less than 7 months.

Having held several positions of increasing levels of responsibility at Verizon, Gowen was the lead architect of the company’s supply chain strategy and led the strategic shift from a fixed to a variable inventory business model. While in corporate sourcing, he led the implementation of Verizon’s eProcurement effort, and the standardization of Verizon’s supply chain systems.

Gowen earned his master’s degree in business administration from Long Island University and his bachelor’s degree from Manhattanville College. He is a member of Penn State University’s Smeal Sustainability Advisory Board. He is also the current Chairman of GeSI (Global eSustainability based out of Brussels), and a board member of the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium. Gowen is located at Verizon Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

Abel Leites
Vice President
Verizon Global Supply Chain

Abel leads the Consumer & Business Supply Chain, responsible for inventory planning forward & reverse, monetization & FiOS field operations. This includes over $26B in annual spend, management of over $3B in inventory, over $2B in monetization revenue & a field force of over 400 to support the Verizon Wireless, FiOS, Verizon Connect & Verizon Business operations.

Prior to this role, Abel held Supply Chain leadership positions in functional systems, advanced analytics, lean six sigma, inventory planning, transportation, distribution & business operations support. Abel started his management career in corporate real estate, with leadership positions in strategic planning, transactions and design & construction. With this background, he led Verizon’s initial green energy program, deploying over 24MW of on-site renewable energy.

Abel earned a bachelor’s degree in architectural technology from NYIT and a master’s in business administration from Long Island University. Abel also holds a master’s degree in supply chain management from Penn State University.