CRN Exclusive: EarthLink's Olen Scott Named Windstream Channel Chief Following Merger

Olen Scott, vice president of partner channels for EarthLink, has been named channel chief of Windstream following the telecommunication provider's acquisition of EarthLink, Scott told CRN exclusively.

Windstream's channel chief Jason Dishon has decided to leave the newly-combined company and seek other opportunities, Windstream said.

The executive changes within Little Rock, Ark.-based Windstream's channel program are effectively immediately, following the close of the merger with Atlanta-based EarthLink for $1.1 billion on Monday.

[Related: EarthLink Channel Chief On Windstream Merger And Building An Ultra-Responsive Partner Program]

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Scott, who is now responsible for designing, operating and supporting Windstream’s channel sales organization, said that both Windstream and EarthLink partners should expect "business as usual" right now.

With fixed wireless in 40 markets across the Southeast and Northeast U.S., Windstream's resources were more than four times what EarthLink was able to offer its partners and customers, Scott said.

EarthLink is bringing its mature enterprise and midmarket customer base to the relationship, which accounted for about 41 percent of EarthLink's revenue, according to the company.

"It's a real privilege to be able to lead the channel program," Scott said. "Since the announcement of the merger, we've been celebrating the potential that the merger holds with partners for our joint customers. Access to all of this, under one roof, brings a lot of benefits for both partners and their end customers."

Both telecom providers have solutions that resonate upmarket, and combined, the new Windstream will continue to focus on enterprise accounts, he said.

"We are both focused on the upmarket, distributed enterprise customer, so together, we can serve that customer better," Scott added.

Windstream's channel leadership team has nearly doubled in size, as most of EarthLink's channel team has joined the newly-combined company.

Scott and his team will be evaluating Windstream's channel program – which now includes EarthLink partners – over the course of the next three months. However, partners shouldn't expect any major changes right away, he said. Partners with both telecom providers will remain at their respective levels within the Windstream and EarthLink partner programs as of today.

Scott, along with Windstream's CEO Tony Thomas, has been busy soliciting input from Windstream's channel advisory board.

"Day one, we want our partners to continue to interact with the channel managers they've always worked with and continue to use the programs and processes that they have been using with whichever their respective legacy company is, while we very swiftly make assessments about changes we want to make, with the input of the partners," Scott said.

A veteran in the telecom industry, Scott has held several positions at EarthLink since 2013. Prior to his appointment with EarthLink, he led the sales organizations for XO Communications, as well as Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

In his latest appointment, Scott will be reporting to Windstream's executive vice president of enterprise sales, Jeff Howe.