Paul Sunu Appointed Windstream CEO


Windstream, a prominent telecommunications company, has welcomed a new leader to navigate its future.

Paul Sunu has taken the reins as the President and Chief Executive Officer, stepping into the role with immediate effect. This transition follows the departure of Tony Thomas, who decided to leave the company after an impressive 17-year tenure.

As of now, Paul Sunu, who has been the Chairman of Windstream’s board since 2020, will assume the dual responsibilities of President and CEO.

His mandate includes:

  • Enhancing the company’s strategic effectiveness.
  • Improving customer service.
  • Spearheading Windstream’s next phase of growth.

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Paul Sunu boasts a rich background in the telecom industry, with a particular emphasis on rural telecom and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). His previous role as the CEO of FairPoint Communications, which Consolidated Communications later acquired, was marked by significant accomplishments.

At FairPoint, Sunu played a pivotal role in the development of an extensive 18,000-mile fiber network, serving over 300 healthcare facilities and establishing 1,600 fiber-to-the-tower connections.

Sunu’s influence extends even further, as he co-founded Madison River Communications, which was later acquired by CenturyLink, now known as Lumen.

During his tenure at Madison River Communications, Sunu successfully acquired and integrated five rural local exchange carrier (RLEC) operations.

Expressing his optimism for the future, Sunu stated, “Over the past three years as Chairman, I have come to appreciate the caliber of the management team and the determination, dedication, and talent within Windstream. I look forward to working with them to serve our customers with excellence as we continue to expand our fiber network.”

Windstream has been diligently expanding its fiber-to-the-home footprint through a series of strategic public-private partnerships, most recently making significant inroads in Georgia and Kentucky. In the long-haul domain, the company is actively working on establishing a critical route that will ultimately connect Montreal to New York City.

The exact reason for Tony Thomas’ departure from Windstream has yet to be disclosed by the company. In a statement, Thomas expressed his gratitude, saying, “I thank the Board for their support and remain confident that the Company is on the right course.”

Thomas has served as Windstream’s CEO since 2014. During his leadership, the company underwent a significant transformation after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2019. Eventually, Windstream managed to shed more than $4 billion in debt, marking a remarkable turnaround for the organization.

Furthermore, Windstream has continued to be at the forefront of technological advancements. The company has actively pursued and secured broadband grants and recently celebrated the successful interoperability trial of 400G ZR+ modules.

In summary, Windstream’s appointment of Paul Sunu as the new President and CEO marks a significant leadership change. Sunu’s wealth of experience in the telecom industry, particularly in rural telecom and M&A, positions him well to lead Windstream into a new era of growth and excellence.

With the appointment of Paul Sunu as Windstream’s new CEO, the company is poised to embark on an exciting phase of development.

Sunu’s extensive experience and expertise in the telecom industry, especially in rural telecom and mergers and acquisitions, make him a fitting choice to steer Windstream towards continued growth and success.

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