DeLozier, Gee To Split Channel Chief Responsibilities For CenturyLink When Level 3 Acquisition Closes

CenturyLink has pinned down its new channel leadership team that will lead the partner program following the close of its merger with fellow telecom Level 3 Communications.

John DeLozier, currently CenturyLink's vice president of the Channel Alliance program, will be splitting the role of channel chief with Level 3's vice president of indirect sales, Garrett Gee, DeLozier told CRN.

"[Gee] and I are basically becoming partners. We're both really excited about it, and it's going to be good run. We want partners to know there is a plan in place with the people they love, and there will be huge opportunity for [partners] as we move forward," DeLozier said.

[Related: Channel Leaders In Flux As CenturyLink Announces Its Post-Level 3 Exec Lineup]

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Effective at the start of 2018, DeLozier's new title will be vice president, indirect strategic partnerships and alliances for CenturyLink. In his role, DeLozier will be responsible for the company's top 25 strategic partners globally, which includes its community of master agent partners such as Intelisys, Telarus, and WTG.

Level 3's Gee will be responsible for execution in the field, including sales within CenturyLink's territories.

"If I'm poor at my job, in laying down strategy and guiding these [master agent] partners and their sub-agents, [Gee] won't have a road to drive on," DeLozier explained. "If he doesn't execute in the field, I'm in big trouble. So, it's a really great partnership where we will rely on each other."

CenturyLink and Broomfield, Colo.-based Level 3 have been the number one and two suppliers, respectively, within Petaluma, Calif.-based Intelisys' portfolio by revenue. By becoming a "monster supplier," the provider will no doubt continue to thrive and present opportunities for partners, said Andrew Pryfogle, senior vice president of cloud transformation for master agent Intelisys.

"Both [DeLozier and Gee] have a lot of history with our partner community, so we are very happy that both of them will be involved in the channel going forward," Pryfogle said.

Both DeLozier and Gee have "tremendous" reputations and are well-respected within the partner community, according to one CenturyLink and Level 3 solution provider partner that asked not to be named.

"I'm really glad [DeLozier] is staying on with CenturyLink, and I feel really good about [Gee] working with him. I think it will be a good team," the partner said.

CenturyLink's merger with Level 3 is expected to close in mid-to-late October, but channel operations will remain "business as usual" until 2018, DeLozier said.

Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink has been hard at work making leadership decisions for its soon-to-be-combined company. CenturyLink in June announced the new operational structure, which will organize the service provider into five business units, including strategic enterprise; federal government and state government; Global accounts management and international; Small and midsize business, and local government and education; Wholesale and indirect; and Consumer.

CenturyLink has already announced that Level 3's Senior Vice President of Wholesale and Alternate Channels and Asia Pac Region, Lisa Miller, will become president of the new wholesale and indirect business unit for the combined company. DeLozier and Gee will report to Miller.