Level 3 Taps New CEO To Succeed Crowe

Effective immediately, Storey will take the helm from longtime Level 3 CEO James Crowe, who announced his intent to step down from the role in March, saying it was time for Level 3 to come under "new leadership with new perspectives." Level 3 said Crowe will not stand for re-election to the company's board of directors at its 2013 annual meeting next month.

Storey, who joined Level 3 in 2008 as COO, has been nominated to fill Crowe's seat on the board.

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"We are extremely pleased to name Jeff as our new CEO and look forward to him joining our board of directors," said Walter Scott, chairman of the board of directors of Level 3, in a statement. "Jeff was the clear and unanimous choice of the board. With 30 years of industry experience and his intimate knowledge of Level 3's customers, employees and operating environment, Jeff is the right executive to lead Level 3 into the future."

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Storey boasts a lengthy resume in the communications space, having served as president of Leucadia Telecommunications Group and president and CEO of WilTel Communications prior to his joining Level 3. Storey began his career in telecommunications with Southwestern Bell Telephone, and also held a senior executive position at Cox Communications.

Storey's appointment marks the end of a more than 15-year run for Level 3's former CEO James Crowe, who Level 3 praised for having built the Broomfield, Colo.-based company "from the ground up." During his more recent years in the chief executive seat, Crowe helped navigate Level 3 through a series of acquisitions, including the purchase of fiber optic networks provider Global Crossings in October 2011.

Level 3 also staged a complete overhaul of its channel partner program with Crowe at the helm. Unveiled in January, the revamped Level 3 Partner Program was aimed at broadening Level 3's appeal to both traditional telecom agents and VARs embracing the converging IT-telco space.

Looking ahead, Level 3 said its next step is to pounce on the new opportunities being created by the explosion of video, voice and other data across enterprise networks and the Web.

"I am honored by the confidence and trust the board has placed in me and am energized by the opportunities ahead for our company," Storey said in a statement. "Today with our solid financial foundation, our expanding position in the enterprise market and the substantial progress we've made with integration, I believe our opportunities are greater than ever."