Verizon’s incoming head of its wireless business, Ronan Dunne, got started on the job a few weeks early. Well, at least on Twitter, it seems.
Dunne, who was active on social media at his prior job running UK wireless firm O2, took to Twitter (TWTR) on Wednesday to launch a broadside at Sprint.
First, Sprint (S) sent a tweet referring to its current ad campaign while naming Verizon’s official Twitter account. “.@verizon here’s a History lesson,” the fourth-ranked U.S. carrier wrote. “It’s 2016 & all networks are great. Y charge high rates of the past?”
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Dunne responded, attaching Sprint’s post to his own in a retweet. “I think you mean all networks are great some of the time – only some networks are great all of the time,” wrote Dunne, who doesn’t take over at Verizon (VZ) until next month.
The post marked a new escalation in the wireless market’s social media battles. For instance, since taking the job in 2012, T-Mobile (TMUS) CEO John Legere has been extremely active on Twitter and other social media, often posting jibes about competitors. He frequently refers to Verizon and AT&T (T) as “dumb and dumber,” as he did on Wednesday for example.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, who has gotten into several tiffs with Legere, quickly joined the fray. Just on Tuesday, he was tweaking Verizon for overcharging customers.
AT&T and Verizon have largely stood aside the social media wars, though they have reacted in more traditional ways, with occasional aggressive television commercials or comments in the press.
For more on the 2015 Sprint-T-Mobile Twitter feud, watch:
Dunne brings to Verizon’s $90 billion wireless unit a new sensibility, though it’s one that’s much more like Legere’s. He is an avid Twitter participant, using it to keep tabs on and interact with customers and competitors, and has also said tries to read every customer email.
Dunne resigned from O2 in July after its planned sale to CK Hutchison was blocked by antitrust regulators. On August 2, Verizon named him the new head of its wireless business. But the Irish executive doesn’t start until next month, a Verizon spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.
Dunne had previously posted on Twitter that he would he would be changing his handle from @RonanDunne02, a reference to his prior employer, to @RonanDunneVZW. Apparently, he decided to start posting on Verizon’s behalf before making the switch.