Dugan takes over as CTO of CenturyLink

After serving as CTO at Level 3 Communications, Andrew Dugan is the new CTO at CenturyLink. (CenturyLink)

CenturyLink's deal last year to buy Level 3 Communications has had far ranging implications across its network and services, but it also has had an impact on its executive team with today's news that Andrew Dugan has replaced Aamir Hussain as CTO.

A spokeswoman for CenturyLink confirmed that Hussain, who was also an executive vice president at CenturyLink, has left the company. Dugan was previously senior vice president of technology planning and network architecture at CenturyLink.

"CenturyLink is implementing organizational changes in its product development and technology function to better align with the company’s recently completed technology roadmap and innovation strategy," CenturyLink said in a statement.

Both Dugan and Hussain were on hand for last week's MEF18 conference in Los Angeles. Dugan was a panelist at MEF18 while Hussain, in his role as MEF board member, delivered a few remarks at MEF's opening press conference on SD-WAN standards and certification, the LSO Sonata AP and the formation of a new enterprise advisory board.

Hussain was hired as CenturyLink's CTO in 2014. Hussain played a key role in transforming CenturyLink from a legacy telco into an IT-based services company by leveraging software and network functions virtualization (NFV) and cloud-based IP services.

CenturyLink has struggled a bit with its NFV implementations, which it has revised several times to reduce network complexities related to NFV.

Under Hussain's watch, CenturyLink launched its Programmable Services Backbone, which was first rolled out in 2015 and then relaunched in March with CenturyLink's Victor orchestration software and OpenStack.

Dugan, who was CTO at Level 3 prior to the CenturyLink deal, spent 19 years in various roles at Level 3.

Before joining Level 3, Dugan designed and built transport network support systems, enhanced voice services platforms and next-generation voice switching networks for MCI WorldCom. He also worked for AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Dugan has more than 20 networking patents. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and electrical engineering from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan.

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Level 3's presence was felt at the executive level when former Level 3 CEO Jeff Story took over that role from Glen Story when the latter retired in May. Story was serving as CenturyLink's president and COO prior to his promotion.

CenturyLink announced on Tuesday Neel Dev was named executive vice president and chief financial officer, Dev, who has served as interim CFO since Sunit Patel's departure from the company in September, now has have global responsibility for CenturyLink's financial planning, accounting, tax, treasury, procurement and supply chain management and real estate portfolio. He previously served as CenturyLink's group vice president of finance and was with Level 3 for 13 years prior to the CenturyLink acquisition.

While some of Level 3's executives have landed top executive positions at CenturyLink, there have been a few departures by former Level 3 employees. After 14 years at CenturyLink, James Feger left his position as vice president of network virtualization for a new job at F5 Networks. After a two-year stint at CenturyLink, Adam Dunstan left his position as vice president of SDN/NFV engineering in May. Dunstan joined CenturyLink after it purchased the networking assets of Active Broadband Networks in 2016.