Level 3 Communications (LVLT) today named Jeff Storey as its President and COO, finally replacing Kevin O'Hara who left in March. Followers of the sector will recall that Storey was the President of WilTel Communications while it was under the wings of Leucadia National Corporation. Level 3 needed some more operational muscle to help it break out of the rut it has been in for a year, it's good to see them fill the COO position at last.
At WilTel, Storey won praise for his role in turning around the company's operations despite starting with a very weak hand. WilTel had basically no metro footprint, just a longhaul network with low gross margins that was burning through cash very quickly even after emerging from bankruptcy. But their operations grew healthier each and every quarter thereafter. Of course, WilTel was also dependent on its large outsourcing contract with SBC, and when SBC bought AT&T it all fell apart and WilTel had little choice but to find a buyer while it could. Storey basically vanished from the telecom scene for the last few years, but he's back, and some might argue he is now in the position of successor to James Crowe.
Good luck to Jeff in his new position! I'd say that it's tough to start in this sort of environment, but starting at the darkest part of a recession is actually something he has done before.
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