Qwest CEO steps down

Richard Notebaert, chairman and chief executive officer of Qwest Communications International Inc., is leaving the company.

The Denver- based company announced that Notebaert has informed the board of his decision. He will remain in the post until the board hires a successor. The company has not set a timetable for finding a new leader, according to the announcement.

Qwest has long been an active federal government contractor, but its status as a player rose sharply earlier this year when the General Services Administration awarded the company a place on its Networx Universal and Networx Enterprise multiple award contracts. The 10-year contracts could generate a total of $20 billion in revenues, or more, and Qwest's win puts it on equal footing with other major telecom firms competing for agency dollars.

"I am extremely proud of our accomplishments during the past five years and have full confidence in the leadership at Qwest," Notebaert said, "The time has come for me to spend more time with family and focus on other commitments."

His departure is not likely to have any significant effect on the company's government operations or strategy, said analyst Frank Dzubeck, president of Washington-based Communications Networks Architects. However, until the company chooses a successor, it's impossible to predict how the next CEO might steer the firm.

Diana Gowen leads the company's federal team as vice president of federal sales.

Qwest ranks No. 54 on Washington Technology's 2007 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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