Cost Cuts Help Net More Than Double in Period
A Wall Street Journal News Roundup
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Qwest Communications International Inc.'s second-quarter
profit more than doubled, helped by further reductions in
The Denver telecommunications company, which doesn't own a
wireless network, has relied on cost cuts and the sale of more
data and Internet services to counter a steady decline in the
number of local-phone subscribers.
Qwest has turned around its business under the leadership of
Chief Executive Richard Notebaert, who plans to leave after the
company finds his successor. A longtime communications-industry
executive, Mr. Notebaert, 59 years old, steered Qwest through a
reorganization and near-brush with bankruptcy. He will leave
with the company on firmer financial footing.
Mr. Notebaert joined Qwest in mid-2002 as the antithesis to
Joseph Nacchio, the former chief executive who was convicted of
19 counts of insider trading. Mr. Nacchio was sentenced to six
years in prison and two years of probation for insider trading.
Mr. Notebaert has three decades of telecom-industry experience,
serving as president and chief executive officer of Tellabs and,
before that, chairman of Ameritech Corp., a landline carrier
that is now part of
Qwest will name a new chief executive "sooner than later," said
Mr. Notebaert. "Emphasis on the sooner."
He said he hands the board an envelope every year detailing what
the company should do if he were to be unable to serve. In the
note is a list of candidates. He declined to comment on the
Mr. Notebaert said he would prefer a candidate with experience
leading a company, as well as experience in the communications
and retail sectors. The company is expected to look both
internally and at outside candidates.
He said his successor would be starting in a different position
than he did -- his first priority when taking over was to keep
Qwest out of bankruptcy -- and that he expects the person to do
better than he has. "I have high expectations," he said.
During the latest quarter, sales inched up 0.5% to $3.46 billion
on an unadjusted basis, but revenue from continuing operations
dipped 0.3%. Operating expenses fell 4.2% from a year earlier
to $2.9 billion.