Qwest 'over-ready' for
DNC, chief exec says
Mueller: 3-year pact shows union, telco are partners
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Qwest Communications is ready for the Democratic National
Convention, and its top executive said he never thought a strike
would disrupt operations.
"You betcha -- we're over-ready," Qwest CEO Ed Mueller said
telco is the official telecommunications provider for the DNC
and Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Mueller cited the contract negotiations that resulted in a
tentative three-year agreement early Monday as another example
of the union and company working together.
He described the DNC as an ancillary issue that "others made
more about than we have. I thought we'd get (the contract)
settled. I don't think we were ever in jeopardy."
Mueller's comments came in an interview to announce changes in
the company's executive team, moves he said will help the telco
become more focused, efficient and entrepreneurial.
He wouldn't say exactly how much Qwest has spent so far to get
ready for the DNC, but indicated the company was close to
spending its pledge of up to $6 million.
Mueller said the Pepsi Center and Xcel
in St. Paul
offered similar challenges, while outfitting Invesco Field for
Barack Obama's acceptance speech wasn't as difficult as it might
have been because the company already had "great facilities"
He said he and Qwest will host several events at the DNC
including a CEO roundtable and a meeting with "grass- roots"
The executive moves eliminate one executive vice president
position, while promoting from within and shifting
responsibilities of several others.
Several moves were made by Tom Richards, the company's new chief
operating officer and former executive vice president of the
business markets group.
Richards noted the consumer group is "fighting some tough
headwinds and we believe we needed a fresh set of eyes."
Qwest has been losing primary land lines at an annual rate of
about 9 percent and its high-speed Internet subscriber growth is
One job is still to be acted on: chief financial officer.
Mueller said Qwest is close -- "I'd say the ninth inning" -- to
naming a new CFO to replace retiring John Richardson.
Changes at the top
* Teresa Taylor, previously executive vice president and
chief administrative officer, has been named executive vice
president of business markets group.
* Dan Yost, previously executive vice president for
product and IT, is now executive vice president of mass markets.
* Neil Cox, previously a national sales vice president,
has been promoted to executive vice president of product and IT.
* Rich Baer, general counsel and executive vice president,
will now also serve as chief administrative officer.
* Paula Kruger, previously executive vice president of
mass markets, is leaving the company.