Meet The New CenturyLink: Exec, Channel Program Changes


Now that both Qwest and Savvis are integrated into CenturyLink, the telecom behemoth has continued to make structural changes designed to streamline its go-to-market strategy for the channel. Those changes come as CenturyLink also has seen a number of significant executive moves.

Among the most recent developments is the resignation of Ed Mueller, former Qwest CEO, from CenturyLink's board a full year before the planned end of his term. Mueller, who became CEO of Qwest in 2007, oversaw the company up to and during the merger and then moved to CenturyLink's board following the acquisition's April 2011 close.

His resignation was mentioned by CenturyLink in a March 27 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing and first reported on by The Denver Post. In the filing, CenturyLink states that two other former Qwest directors, Charles Biggs and James Unruh, will not stand for re-election and that Mueller's resignation is effective as of a board meeting scheduled for May 23. CenturyLink's board will at that point be reduced from 16 members to 13, according to the filing.

[Related: CenturyLink: Channel Fuels Revenue, Sales Growth]

A CenturyLink spokesperson declined to comment further on Mueller's resignation and referred CRN to CenturyLink's filings.

In late March, CenturyLink confirmed that its Savvis Alliances Master Agent Program would merge into CenturyLink Channel Alliance as of the second quarter of 2012. Blake Wetzel, vice president of CenturyLink Channel Alliance and the company's channel chief, runs the merged program, which has existed as separate entities since CenturyLink's 2011 acquisition of Savvis.

"During the past year, we have focused on how best to harmonize our business customer channel program," Wetzel said at the time. "We are now ready to build an organizational structure that will provide a seamless, partner-driven sales experience for the company's business solutions."

Several days before that late March announcement, CenturyLink said it would consolidate several of its major corporate groups into a new operating structure. Effective April 1, its national and international Business Markets Group customers, Savvis customers and federal government customers all come under the new Enterprise Markets Group. The former Business Markets Group's large in-region business customers and state and local government customers now come under the current Regional Markets Group, and the Wholesale Markets Group is unchanged.

The Enterprise Markets Group move also brought a major management change: Jim Ousley, CEO of Savvis, is now president of that group. Chris Ancell, who headed up the old Business Markets Group, will depart CenturyLink after a transitional period, according to a spokesperson.

Karen Puckett, executive vice president and COO, continues to lead the Regional Markets Group and William Cheek continues as president of the Wholesale Markets Group.