CenturyLink board member Zimmel departs over reported clash with leadership

Joseph Zimmel, one of CenturyLink's (NYSE: CTL) board members, recently resigned from his post over allegations that he was creating bad "chemistry" with other company directors and management.

In an SEC 8-K filing, all of CenturyLink's board members except one agreed that Zimmel should not submit his name for reelection due to the "on-going impact of his service on the Board's and management team's chemistry."

After completing its annual board review process, CenturyLink said that a question was raised asking "whether the manner in which Mr. Zimmel was making his contributions to the Board's work was creating an environment that was unproductive for both the Board and management team."

The service provider did not explain what constitutes an unproductive environment, nor what Zimmel did to create it.

Following a number of requests beginning in early December by CenturyLink's board Chairman Bill Owens and other members of the company's board and management team, Zimmel announced on Jan. 19 that he would resign from his board seat.  

In an e-mail included in the SEC filing sent to Stacy Goff, EVP and general counsel for CenturyLink, Zimmel said the request to not let him stand for reelection was taken after a number of company directors met and "decided I had to go."

Zimmel added that fellow board members said "I added a lot of value, that I was an important and needed voice on the board."

A former Goldman Sachs executive, Zimmel has been on the CenturyLink board since 2003. During his tenure at Goldman Sachs, he served managing director of the investment banking division.

Zimmel did not respond to an e-mailed request for comment on his resignation from Bloomberg.

"On behalf of the board, I want to thank Joe for his outstanding contributions to CenturyLink over his many years of service. We wish him the very best in the future," Owens said in a statement.

CenturyLink's board has named Martha Bejar to take over Zimmel's board seat. Bejar recently served as the CEO and director of Flow Mobile, a broadband wireless access service provider.

Bejar was previously chairperson and CEO of Wipro Infocrossing from 2011 to 2012, managing the Infrastructure Technology Outsourcing business at Infocrossing.

For more:
- see the SEC 8-K filing
- Bloomberg has this article
- see this release

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