The Association of U S West Retirees



Second top Qwest exec to retire
Executive vice president of operations Barry Allen will retire at the end of the month. He follows Oren Shaffer out the door.
By Andy Vuong, Staff Writer
Denver Post
Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Qwest announced Tuesday that Barry Allen, executive vice president of operations, is retiring effective June 29.

The announcement comes two months after the April retirement of former chief financial officer Oren Shaffer.  Allen, 58, and Shaffer, 65, were viewed by analysts as the Denver-based company's top two executives behind chief executive Dick Notebaert.

Janco Partners telecommunications analyst Donna Jaegers said she was surprised by Allen's announcement.

She speculates that the company may be working on a major acquisition and that Allen and Shaffer didn't want to be part of another big project after having helped turn around the company over the past five years.

"I'm expecting Qwest to make an acquisition in the next year, and I would think that might have hastened Oren and Barry's departure -- just that they're going into a new episode of the company, and there's going to be a lot of work," Jaegers said.

Qwest spokesman Bob Toevs said he couldn't address that speculation.

Allen said it would be "a gross misjudgment" to interpret that his and Shaffer's retirements foreshadow other major changes within the company.  Both men also previously worked with Notebaert at Ameritech.

"We both felt good about the business.  We felt good about the foundation we're now on," Allen said.

Allen joined Qwest in summer 2002 and, with Notebaert and Shaffer, helped rebuild a company on the verge of bankruptcy.  Qwest has posted five straight quarterly profits, and its stock price is trading near five-year highs, closing Tuesday at $10.20, down 8 cents.

Allen said he wants to spend more time with his family.

"I've been at this for 35-plus years, and my children, my grandchildren, are back in Wisconsin and Chicago," Allen said.

He said he and his wife will split their time between Wisconsin and Florida.

He will continue to serve on the board of Harley-Davidson and Fiduciary Management Inc. but doesn't have plans to take on a new role with a major corporation.

Qwest will shift its operations structure after Allen's departure.  Currently, the company's chief information officer, Girish Varma, and chief technology officer Pieter Poll report to Allen.

Effective June 29, Varma will report to Dan Yost, executive vice president of product management.  Poll will report to Robert Tregemba, who will assume the new role of executive vice president of network operations.

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

Qwest exits  -  Two top-level executives at Qwest Communications have left the Denver-based company in recent weeks:

Barry Allen  -  Executive vice president of operations, retires this month

Oren Shaffer  -  Chief financial officer, retired in April