Qwest CEO and Chairman Dick Notebaert announced plans to retire from the company. The man is credited with turning around the nearly bankrupt Qwest when he came on board in 2002, replacing Joe Nacchio, who was recently convicted of 19 counts of insider trading. Notebaert leaves Qwest at a crossroads. It needs to find a merger partner, having been left out of the wave of consolidation last year. It also is missing another strategic asset: wireless. The company throughout the years has had a schizophrenic approach to wireless, selling off its wireless assets, winning new wireless licenses in the PCS auction and then selling the licenses off again because it couldn't make a profitable business. Now it is a reseller of Sprint Nextel services, and wireless is turning out to be the biggest growth engine in the telecom industry.
For more about Notebaert's departure:
- read this Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)