CenturyLink loses another cloud executive with Purrier departure

Another top executive in CenturyLink's (NYSE: CTL) cloud initiative has left the company.  According to Fortune, John Purrier, formerly the CTO of CenturyLink's cloud innovation lab, left the firm in September and joined business automation company Automic as its CTO.

Purrier joined CenturyLink when it acquired AppFog. He is also a founder and board member of the OpenStack Foundation.  Automic has some powerful customers including Netflix and Deutsche Post.

The news comes just two weeks after the telco lost two other key cloud executives, Jonathan King and Jared Wray.  King, who has since joined Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) where he will lead the company's cloud product strategy and acquisitions team, was instrumental in CenturyLink's $3.2 billion acquisition of Savvis in 2011. He also helped the company acquire other cloud-based companies, including Appfog, Tier 3 and Orchestrate, a cloud-based managed database provider. Wray, who served as CenturyLink's senior vice president of platform and application framework development, came to the company when it purchased his startup Tier 3 in 2013.

A CenturyLink spokesman told FierceTelecom after the departures of King and Wray that the company remains dedicated to providing cloud services and is planning to combine cloud functions with its core technology groups  as part of its long-term strategy to become a bigger player in the IP-enabled network services, cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions markets. By combining these functions, CenturyLink said it will be able to fully integrate the company's technology teams, scale its product offerings and gain new efficiencies.

In addition, the telco said that Aamir Hussain, who joined CenturyLink in 2014 as CTO, will oversee all of the cloud service functions and integration of the former Tier 3 and Savvis cloud technology organizations.

Regardless of its plans, CenturyLink faces a number of challenges in maintaining its cloud services strategy. The company is facing tough competition from powerful players like Amazon Web Services, which according to Synergy Research has a market share greater than 30 percent. Joining AWS are Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), which saw revenue growth rates in excess of 100 percent during the third quarter.

For more:
- see this Fortune article

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