The Association of U S West Retirees



Qwest: Decision by state-level chiefs to exit is voluntary


Denver Business Journal

by Greg Avery

November 12, 2010

The decision by Qwest Communications International Inc.s top Colorado executive to leave the company after its merger with CenturyLink was a voluntary one, as were those of the other state-level executives planning to leave, Qwest said Friday.

The Denver-based telecom on Thursday outlined a shift in management structure coming to Qwest, assuming its merger with Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink Inc. is completed as expected in the first half of 2011.

CenturyLink will replace Qwests 11 state-level executive positions with six regional presidencies. Six of Qwests current state presidents will leave the company, while two will have new vice president positions and three presidents will stay on in as-yet undefined roles.

Chuck Ward, the president of Qwest in Colorado and a career veteran of telecom, said he chose to seek a new career direction after helping the company through the merger process.

I made the decision to take this opportunity to explore other challenges and to contribute to a different organization, be it public or private, profit or nonprofit, he said in an emailed statement. I am proud of my work at Qwest and to have been part of the team that brought about the evolution of Qwest from a telephone company to the integrated broadband telecommunications provider it is today.

Other presidents leaving the company made similar choices on their own, the company said Friday.

CenturyLink will make two of Qwests current state presidents Jim Campbell and Jerry Fenn, presidents in Arizona and Utah, respectively into vice presidents for regional policy and regulatory affairs following the merger.

The two executives will split what is now Qwests 14-state territory, the company said. Theyll report to Steve Davis, Qwests head of government relations. He will keep that job after Qwest becomes part of CenturyLink.

Campbell, a Colorado native, will return to Denver in the post-merger reorganization, the company said. Two other regional vice presidents for regulatory issues will come from CenturyLink.

Qwest executives Jim Schmit, Dave Gibson and Lauretta Armenta presidents of Idaho, Montana and New Mexico operations, respectively will have jobs with CenturyLink following the merger, though their roles have not yet been defined, Qwest said in a statement.

The Qwest presidents who wont have positions with the merged company are: Mike Ceballos, Wyoming; John Stanoch, Minnesota and North Dakota; Rex Fisher, Nebraska; Kirk Nelson, Washington; Max Phillips, Iowa and South Dakota; Judy Peppler, Oregon; and Ward in Colorado.