The Association of U S West Retirees



Retiring Qwest CEO heading back to Wisconsin
By Andy Vuong, Staff Writer
Denver Post
Friday, June 15, 2007

Qwest chief executive Dick Notebaert said today that he plans to move back to Wisconsin after his retirement from the telecommunications company.

In an exclusive interview with The Denver Post from Qwest headquarters in downtown Denver, he disclosed that retirement had been on his mind for a while, he gave more details on his future plans and he discussed the type of person he'd like to fill his shoes.

"On Thursday night, I made a decision.  I woke up Friday morning, didn't change.  And told the board," said Notebaert, who announced publicly Monday that he would retire as soon as the board of directors finds his replacement.  "I've pondered it for a long time."

Notebaert joined Qwest in June 2002 and turned around the company from near-bankruptcy to financial stability.  Wearing his trademark button-up Qwest shirt, Notebaert said today that he has commitments with several nonprofits and serves on the board of a couple of outside companies.  He also wants to spend more time with his grandsons.

"I'll probably spend most of my time in Wisconsin," said Notebaert, who turns 60 this summer.

Notebaert and his wife, Peggy, spent most of their lives in Wisconsin.  He said they plan to sell their home in Denver and return to the Lake Geneva area.

He thinks his replacement should have a strong "retail mindset."

"We're in a very competitive business.  You have to be thinking constantly about attack, counterattack," Notebaert said.

The new leader should be a "seasoned veteran" from the communications sector.

"The communications-sector knowledge would be helpful because you'd understand Washington, D.C., and the different franchising and regulatory bodies you'd have to deal with," Notebaert said.

Notebaert said he's given a few names to the board, which is handling the search.  He said he couldn't talk specifically about internal and external candidates.

No time frame has been set for naming a replacement, but Notebaert said he would like it to happen "sooner rather than later."

Staff writer Andy Vuong can be reached at 303-954-1209 or