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Qwest taps ex-Comcast, XM Radio exec as CFO
By Kimberly S. Johnson

Denver Post
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Joseph J. Euteneuer, left, new chief financial officer for Qwest Communications, meets Monday with chief executive Ed Mueller for a conference call. (Brian Brainerd, The Denver Post )

Qwest named former XM Radio and Comcast Corp. executive Joseph J. Euteneuer its chief financial officer Monday.

Euteneuer, 53, takes the telecommunications company's financial reins from John Richardson, who said in April he would leave the post.  Euteneuer was previously CFO and executive vice president of XM Radio, following 15 years at Comcast.

"I think Qwest is an exciting company. . . . Qwest is well-positioned to take advantage of a lot of things," Euteneuer said Monday.

He pointed to the company's "strong cash flow" as an example of its strength.

Yet Qwest, which offers home phone and broadband service in 14 states, is losing customers who are deserting their land-line phones in favor of mobile phones or Internet-based services such as Vonage and Comcast Digital Voice.

Last month, Qwest said it lost 1.1 million residential and business phone customers over the past year, an 8.2 percent drop, contributing to a 24 percent decline in second-quarter income.  Sales have stagnated for nine straight quarters, and the company's stock has fallen 49 percent this year.

Euteneuer, who as CFO helped grow Comcast BroadNet Europe, pointed to investments made at Comcast and his ability to bring confidence to shareholders as strengths.

"I had a good relationship with banks, major shareholders and institutional investors," he said.

Qwest chief executive Ed Mueller called the selection of Euteneuer "a home run" because of the skills he brings to the company looking to push new products based on its high-speed Internet offerings.

"We were looking for someone that knew something about our industry, that's had experience working with investors and (Wall) Street," Mueller said.

Qwest may be a safer bet for Euteneuer than his old satellite company, said Christopher King, a Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst in Baltimore.  Sirius had to help XM refinance $1.25 billion in debt as part of its acquisition of that company, he said.

Euteneuer will get a yearly salary of $660,000 with a bonus of as much as $990,000.  He also received options on 1.06 million shares.

Kimberly S. Johnson: 303-954-1088 or Bloomberg News contributed to this report.