CEO job "attractive" to BellSouth ex
By Andy Vuong, Staff Writer
Friday, August 10, 2007
Telecommunications veteran and former BellSouth executive Dick
Anderson, floated as a possible candidate to replace retiring
Qwest chief executive Dick Notebaert, said Thursday that he
thinks leading the Denver-based company would be appealing.
"Dick Notebaert has done a great job of turning Qwest around
from both a service and financial perspective," said Anderson,
49. "I think the Qwest CEO job is an attractive job."
Anderson declined to discuss any aspect of Qwest's search for a
new leader, including whether he was interviewed for the job.
Qwest is expected to announce a new CEO soon, perhaps this
"I would bet on somebody from BellSouth," said Donna Jaegers, a
telecom analyst with Janco Partners. "You've got people that
(who) grew up within the Bell system and they always wanted to
be CEO. There were a few people at BellSouth that (who) were so
close they can taste it, and then BellSouth sold out to AT&T."
Citing recruiters not involved in the search and telecom
insiders, The Wall Street Journal listed Anderson among five
potential candidates shortly after Notebaert announced his
retirement plans in June.
Former BellSouth chief operating officer Mark Feidler also has
been mentioned as a candidate. Feidler, who now runs a
private-equity firm in Atlanta, was widely viewed as the
successor to former BellSouth CEO Duane Ackerman before the
company was acquired by AT&T last year.
Feidler reportedly turned down an offer this year to become the
No. 2 at Sprint Nextel. He didn't return calls seeking comment.
Qwest spokesman Bob Toevs declined to comment.
Notebaert has said his successor should be a seasoned veteran
from the communications sector with a strong retail mind-set.
Anderson started as an account executive with South Central
Bell, a BellSouth predecessor, in June 1981.
He held various positions with BellSouth, serving as vice
chairman of planning and administration before it was acquired
by AT&T. As one of the few high-ranking BellSouth executives to
stay with the company after the merger, Anderson was named group
president for global business services of the combined company.
He resigned from AT&T in June.
When asked what Qwest could work on strategically, Anderson said
video and wireless. Qwest partners with DirecTV and Sprint
Nextel to offer those services.
"I do think video is important. We found it important in all of
our customer research," said Anderson. "The thing that Qwest
(also) has to continue to work on -- I know they have a
relationship with Sprint -- I really do believe you have to have
a wireless offering."
Anderson, an Atlanta resident, added that Qwest has a good
position serving enterprise business customers.
"If I were standing in their shoes, I would be thinking I want
to continue to strengthen my offerings in the mass market, but I
would not want to walk away from the enterprise strength that
they bring to the table," he said.
Staff writer Andy Vuong can be reached at 303-954-1209 or