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Qwest selects Euteneuer as CFO
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Qwest Communications has tapped a satellite radio and cable-TV veteran with mergers and acquisition experience as its new chief financial office.

Joseph Euteneuer (pronounced you-ten-hour) most recently was CFO for XM Satellite Radio, helping it grow from a small company to a billion-dollar enterprise and then merge with Sirius Satellite Radio.

Before joining XM in 2002, Euteneuer spent 15 years in financial and operating executive posts at Comcast Corp.

Euteneuer, 53, replaces John Richardson, who announced in April his plans to leave.  Euteneuer will receive an annual salary of $660,000, 1.06 million stock options, and a total of 605,000 restricted and performance shares.

Qwest CEO Ed Mueller said Monday he wanted a CFO with industry experience and who worked well with analysts and the investment community.  Mueller said he hot an additional bonus of landing someone who has a background at Comcast, one of Qwest's chief rivals, and at a new kind of content company such as XM.

April Horace, an analyst with Janco Partners in Greenwood Village, said she has known Euteneuer since 2001 and described him as someone who "likes challenges, is a great team builder and he works 24/7."  She noted he helped XM raise billions of dollars at a time credit was tight.

Donna Jaegers, a telecommunications analyst at D.A. Davidson & CO., said Euteneuer's main challenge at Qwest will be "juggling the cap X (capital expenditures) they need to spend to grow with the promise to Wall Street to pay a dividend and generate free cash flow."  She also has said Qwest must be more aggressive on the M&A front.

Euteneuer has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Arizona State University and is a certified public accountant.  He enjoys running marathons.  He and his wife plan to relocate from Washington, D.C.

Excerpts of a short interview with the Rocky Mountain News follows:

What do you see as your main challenges at Qwest?

Qwest is a very dynamic company.  Being the new CFO is one of really fitting in, becoming part of the team, taking a leadership role.  My job is to be the financial leader and a partner of all these operating guys who are trying to drive the business results.  I think it's important that the CFO really rolls up his sleeves and gets involved and helps them (the operating heads) to be successful in their businesses because if they fail, I fail.

Another analyst said one of your main challenges will be juggling capital expenditures with Wall Street expectations of generating free cash flow and a dividend.

I think that's every company's challenge in today's world.  You look at Comcast, you look at XM.  Everybody is trying to balance providing that proper return to shareholders and knowing one of the big issues that faces you is your capital deployment -- knowing that technology is constantly changing.

What is the greatest strengths you bring to the table?

I think my ability to work well on a team and loving that environment.  My ability to operate as a leader very calmly in the midst of a lot of bombs going on around us.  I think I bring the operational discipline, the financial discipline, along with a big background of M&A work.