Verizon president Lawrence Babbio has announced his retirement from the company where he spent more than half his life.

Babbio is a 41-year veteran of Verizon and its predecessor companies. The 61-year-old executive is responsible for the Verizon Business and Verizon Telecom business units and will retire in early 2007.

Babbio began his career in 1966 with New Jersey Bell Telephone. After working in engineering, network construction and technology development positions at New Jersey Bell and AT&T, Babbio in 1995 was elected vice chairman of Bell Atlantic.

Prior to the Bell Atlantic-GTE merger in 2000, he was president and COO for Bell Atlantic. Verizon said it will announce transition plans in the coming weeks.