Windstream Announces Appointments to New Board of Directors

Windstream Announces Appointments to New Board of Directors
(Kerry Prichard)

Windstream Holdings Inc. of Little Rock on Tuesday announced nine appointments to its new board of directors, which will govern the company once it emerges from bankruptcy as a privately-held firm.

Tony Thomas will continue leading Windstream as its president and CEO, and he will continue to serve on the company’s board.

The company expects to emerge from bankruptcy later this summer.

The new board members are:

  • David Brown, a managing director of Oaktree Capital Management. Previously, Brown was a principal at Glendon Capital Management (formerly Barclays Capital), a vice president with Citigroup Global Markets and a managing director with Archview Investment Group. He first joined Oaktree in 2003, after spending two years at Goldman, Sachs & Co. as an analyst in its Mergers & Strategic Advisory Group.
  • Randy Dunbar, who most recently served as president of Zayo's Global Transport Segment. Previously, Dunbar was vice president of wholesale and strategic partnerships at Clearwire Corporation and Senior vice president of the Enterprise Business Unit at Level 3 Communications.
  • Bruce Kenny, an operating executive at Evergreen Coast Capital. Before Evergreen, Kenny was vice president of product development and hosted operations at Viewpoint Construction Software, a Bain Capital portfolio company. He has also served as CTO and executive vice president of products at Webtrends, a Francisco Partners portfolio company. He has had stints with Infopia, an e-commerce platform, and Pivotal Corp., a customer relationship management software company, as well.
  • William LaPerch, who was president and CEO of AboveNet, a publicly traded provider of high bandwidth fiber-optic connectivity products and services. He managed the company through its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. LaPerch is a current Windstream board member and a member of the Digital Realty Trust board.
  • W. Robert Mudge, who most recently served as executive vice president of strategic initiatives at Verizon. Previously, Mudge was executive vice president of network operations and president of consumer and mass business markets at Verizon.
  • Paul H. Sunu, the former CEO of FairPoint Communications until its merger with Consolidated Communications in 2017. Prior to FairPoint, Sunu was the CFO of Hargray Communications, Hawaiian Telcom Communications and Madison River Communications. He is the former chairman of the board of Electric Lightwave.
  • Anand Vadapalli, who 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, 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 Co. He has also served as a managing director and high yield bond portfolio manager at Oaktree Capital Management.
  • Johannes Weber, a portfolio manager in the New York office of Elliott Management Corp., 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.

The company will name one additional member to the board at a later date.

"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," Thomas said in a news release.

Thomas said he was honored to continue serving as CEO.

"We will emerge from restructuring with a strong balance sheet and access to approximately $2 billion in new capital to expand 1 Gig broadband service to rural America and help businesses succeed in the digital transformation," he said.