Qwest Names Edward A. Mueller Chairman and CEO
* Telecommunications veteran also has been CEO of Ameritech and Williams-Sonoma
DENVER.- Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) and its Board of Directors announced today that Edward A. Mueller, a telecommunications veteran with high-level experience, has been named chairman and chief executive officer, succeeding Richard C. Notebaert, who announced in June that he would be retiring.
Mueller, 60, has more than 34 years of telecommunications industry experience. He served as president and chief executive officer of Ameritech from 2000 to 2002; president of SBC International Operations from 1999 to 2000; and president and chief executive officer of Pacific Bell from 1997 to 1999. He joined SBC in 1968 and held other executive level positions in the company, including president and chief executive officer of Southwestern Bell Telephone. Mueller left Ameritech and, in 2003, was elected CEO of Williams-Sonoma, after being named to its board in 1999. Williams-Sonoma owns and operates home-centered retail chains, including Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn.
“Ed is a proven leader with a broad background of communications and retail experience. We are most fortunate to have him join Qwest at a time when his proven leadership skills are well suited to meet the challenges of a highly competitive industry in a rapidly changing consumer and business marketplace,” said Notebaert, whose retirement is effective Aug. 15. “Ed was my top recommendation to the board, and I am confident he will build on Qwest’s strong foundation and continue to drive the Spirit of Service to our customers across the country.”
Mueller said: “I have enormous respect for Dick Notebaert and for what he has accomplished during his highly successful tenure as CEO. Qwest has made great strides in upgrading and solidifying its infrastructure, and has built an impressive reputation for putting the customer first. When you combine the company’s improved financial position and impressive set of assets, there’s a great opportunity for continued growth. I’m eager to get started and begin delivering on the promises we have made to our customers, our employees and all our stakeholders.”
Frank P. Popoff, lead director on the Qwest Board and former chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Company, said: “We conducted a global search for our new CEO, examining both internal and external candidates. Ed Mueller’s unique combination of telecom and consumer marketing experience, and his demonstrated leadership talent, made him the unanimous choice of our directors. Dick Notebaert did an outstanding job in returning the company to profitability and significantly improved its customer service. He leaves the company in excellent condition. The board believes that Ed has just the right mix of skills and expertise to drive growth and profitability.”
A native of St. Louis, Mueller (pronounced MILLER) holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri and an executive M.B.A. degree from Washington University. In addition to his telecom and Williams-Sonoma experience, he serves as a member of the board of directors at VeriSign Inc., The Clorox Company and GSC Acquisition Company. Mueller and his family will relocate to the Denver area.
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