DENVER, July 29, 2008 – Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) and its Board of Directors announced that, effective today, Thomas E. Richards, currently executive vice president of Business Markets Group, will become chief operating officer. Richards, who will continue to report to Qwest Chairman and CEO Edward A. Mueller, will direct the daily operations of Business Markets Group (BMG), Mass Markets Organization (MMO), Wholesale, Network, Marketing, Product and IT.
“Tom is a proven, market-tested telecommunications veteran who brought continued focus to our BMG organization and achieved significantly improved results,” Mueller said. “Building on that success, he will focus intensely on the daily operations and continue to improve the customer experience by aligning our key sales, network, product, marketing and IT organizations. With our new business-segment reporting structure and our focus on operating margin improvement and enhanced free-cash flow, I am confident Tom’s leadership will bring much to our seasoned team.”
Reporting to Richards will be the executive vice presidents of BMG, MMO, Wholesale, Product/IT and Network. He will continue to oversee BMG until a successor is named.
“I am pleased to assume this new and exciting role,” Richards said. “As Ed continues to drive the company’s strategies for growth, I will devote my energies to implementing those strategies throughout our sales, network, marketing, product and IT units. I look forward to partnering with Ed and the other members of the senior leadership team in this endeavor.”
Richards, who joined Qwest in 2005 as executive vice president of BMG, has more than 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. His telecom experience includes executive vice president of communications and information products at Ameritech, where he was responsible for network, wholesale, wireless, video, Internet, security monitoring and more. Before moving to Qwest, he served as chairman, CEO and president of Clear Communications, an international supplier of optical and digital network management software. He also held key executive positions at Bell Atlantic prior to joining Ameritech.
Richards holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sloan School of Management, where he was an Alfred P. Sloan fellow. Richards and his wife live in Denver.
Customers coast to coast turn to Qwest's industry-leading national fiber-optic network and world-class Spirit of Service to meet their communications and entertainment needs. For residential customers, Qwest’s powerful combination of award-winning high-speed Internet,home and wireless voice solutions and digital TV includes a new generation of fiber-optic Internet services. Qwest is also the choice of 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies, offering a full suite of network, data and voice services for small businesses, large businesses, government agencies and wholesale customers. Additionally, Qwest participates in Networx, the largest communications services contract in the world, and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by a leading technology industry analyst firm.