Inc.: Nacchio can count on his Colorado nest egg
By Jane Hoback & Gil Rudawsky
Rocky Mountain News
Saturday, April 8, 2006
We know former Qwest Chief Executive Joe Nacchio isn't
hurting for money, despite stiff legal fees, because he's
left nearly $150 in Colorado. The Colorado Treasury
Department's "Great Colorado Payback" program has been
holding two checks for Nacchio since 2004, according to
Patty White, director of the unclaimed-property program.
They are an electric company refund issued in 1999 of less
than $50 and a payroll check of around $100 written in
2000. White said she couldn't disclose the names of the
companies, but the payroll check wasn't written by Qwest.
Nacchio made substantially more than that at Qwest,
something like $250 million.
"They either didn't get a response or the checks were
returned to them," White said of the checks. "They both
came to us in 2004."
White said the state will hold the unclaimed property "until
perpetuity." Or Nacchio could call 1-800-825-2111 and get a
Unfortunately for Nacchio, the money doesn't earn interest.
"Poor guy," White quipped.
Ignorance is still bliss
Shortly after Qwest's current CEO, Dick Notebaert, took over
the troubled telco in June 2002, he met his longtime friend
Warren Buffett for lunch. At the time, Qwest was the
subject of federal investigations into its accounting,
employee morale was at an all-time low, and the company was
flirting with bankruptcy.
After Notebaert regaled his lunchtime companion with the
layers of mess he'd uncovered since he arrived at Qwest, the
Oracle of Omaha leaned in, looked Notebaert in the eye and
offered some sage counsel:
"You need to buy yourself that Toby Keith song,
I Wish I Didn't Know Now
What I Didn't Know Then," Buffett advised,
Notebaert recalled during a recent speech at the University
of Denver's Daniel College of Business.
Editor Jane Hoback and Deputy Business Editor
write about local business talk that doesn't necessarily end
up in quarterly reports. They can be reached at