Preparations continue for a Windstream bankruptcy exit, with the carrier expected to put its restructuring behind it in late August. The company announced a slate of new Windstream board members who will help lead the company post-bankruptcy.
The U.S Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved a Windstream restructuring plan in late June. The plan calls for Windstream to finalize its financial restructuring and exit as a privately held company in late August.
“We are pleased to announce these appointments to the new Board of Windstream, which will include an impressive group of senior leaders with extensive experience in the telecommunications industry, strong operational and financial expertise and significant track records of success,” stated Windstream CEO Tony Thomas in a prepared statement about the new Windstream board members. “Windstream will benefit from their valuable insights and guidance as we continue executing the Company’s strategy to provide innovative network and software solutions to customers.”
New Windstream Board Members
Thomas will remain as CEO and as a board member post-bankruptcy. New Windstream board members include:
- David Brown: Mr. Brown is a Managing Director of Oaktree Capital Management. Previously, Brown was a Principal at Glendon Capital Management (formerly Barclays Capital).
- Randy Dunbar: Mr. Dunbar most recently served as President of Zayo’s Global Transport Segment. He had P&L responsibility for various fiber-based businesses that included product, engineering, architecture, service delivery and NCC/Support functions.
- Bruce Kenny: Mr. Kenny is an Operating Executive at Evergreen Coast Capital where he assists portfolio companies in product, technology, cloud operations, IT systems and services. He has over 30 years of experience in technology product companies.
- William LaPerch: Mr. LaPerch was President and Chief Executive Officer of AboveNet, a publicly traded provider of high bandwidth fiber-optic connectivity solutions, where he managed the company through its Chapter 11 reorganization.
- W. Robert Mudge: Mr. Mudge most recently served as Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Verizon. He was responsible for the design and construction of Verizon’s national fiber build and network densification, as well as the planning, acquisition and integration of XO communications into Verizon.
- Paul H. Sunu: Mr. Sunu was the former Chief Executive Officer of FairPoint Communications until its merger with Consolidated Communications in 2017. Prior to FairPoint, Sunu was the Chief Financial Officer of Hargray Communications, Hawaiian Telcom Communications and Madison River Communications.
- Anand Vadapalli: Mr. Vadapalli currently serves as Operating Partner at SDC Capital Partners LLC, and Director at Premera Blue Cross where he also chairs the Audit Committee. Previously Vadapalli served as the President and CEO of Alaska Communications as well as Chairman of the Board for USTelecom.
- Michael Watchorn: Mr. Watchorn is a Principal of Seapoint Capital Management, LLC, a privately held family office investment and consulting firm. Previously, Watchorn served as a Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager in both the Global Corporate Credit and Distressed Credit groups of Pacific Investment Management Company, the latter of which he founded in 2009.
- Johannes Weber: Mr. Weber is a Portfolio Manager in the New York office of Elliott Management Corporation, a New York-based investment fund with approximately $40 billion in assets under management. He is responsible for certain public and private equity and credit investments across multiple industries.
Windstream will name one additional new board member at a later date.
Windstream post-bankruptcy plans will rely heavily on fiber network investments, with a goal of dramatically expanding its fiber presence in rural markets and building on its enterprise, business, and wholesale segments.