Rising stars in wireline: Future leaders to watch in 2011

Rising Stars 2011While it's always easy to recognize the influence that the CEOs of major telecom providers have on the wireline industry, one can't forget the innovations being driven by a number of executives working under the CEO.

Facing a growing host of savvy competitors and growing pains related to the migration away from TDM to IP-based services, service providers have to make every effort to stay competitive. This takes a team of creative innovators that proactively build solutions that fit the diverse customer bases.

Here, we take a minute to salute their innovative nature. These individuals often are the brains behind the brawn in terms of developing new products, service and network migration initiatives, and ensuring that the underlying network that carries these new elements maintains always-on uptime.

Here are five people we think will play a critical role in their company's success in the coming year:

Eric Bozich, Qwest
Eric Bozich, VP of Product Management, Qwest

Clint Heiden, PAETEC
Clint Heiden, Senior VP and President of National Accounts and Fiber Services, PAETEC

Dennis Huber, CenturyLink
Dennis Huber, EVP, Network and Information Technology, CenturyLink

Philip Meeks, Cox Business
Phil Meeks, senior vice president of Cox Business

Ken Paker, TDS Telecom
Ken Paker, vice president of network services, TDS Telecom

This group consists of a very diverse set of service players, including one aggressive cable MSO business unit, two large independent ILECs, one competitive fiber service providers and one RBOC. Of course, make sure to check out last year's 2010 Rising Independent ILEC Stars.

As always, I want to hear your feedback and suggestions for further editions of Rising Stars in Wireline.--Sean

P.S. Make sure to also check out my wireless colleague Sue Marek, Editor in Chief of FierceWireless, and her Rising Stars of Wireless feature.