FairPoint names Karen Turner as new CFO, replacing Sabherwal

FairPoint Communications

FairPoint Communications said that Karen Turner will serve as the operator's new CFO following Ajay Sabherwal's resignation.

Turner will start as FairPoint's CFO next month after Sabherwal oversees the filing of the company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2016, with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

FairPoint didn't detail Sabherwal's reasons for leaving, but CEO Paul Sunu issued an upbeat statement on the transition. "I wish Ajay well as he departs to pursue other business opportunities," Sunu said in a release from the company. "Ajay has served as Chief Financial Officer since 2010 and was an integral part of the leadership team that led the company through our Four Pillar transformational strategy over the past five years.  I would like to personally thank Ajay for his tireless support and valued counsel, and I wish him the very best in the future." 

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Turner is currently FairPoint's EVP of operational support. The company said Turner has more than 20 years of experience in finance, accounting, operational support and administration, and moved to FairPoint in 2014 from INC Research, where she served as vice president of global business finance and before that, controller.

Sabherwal joined FairPoint in 2010, reporting to then-CEO David Hauser. At the time, Sabherwal claimed 16 years of telecom experience with financial and business planning roles at AT&T Canada, as an analyst at Deacon Barclays de Zoete Wedd, and as the CFO of Choice One Communications.

Turner will likely face several challenges as she eases into her new role. For example, FairPoint is moving ahead with its CAF-II planning and buildout schedule, but it's unclear when and how that effort might impact the provider's broadband subscriber base.

And just last month, investment firm Maglan Capital urged FairPoint's management to consider a sale of the company. Maglan, which claimed ownership of 7.5 percent of FairPoint's common equity, called out a "serious discrepancy" between FairPoint's improved financial performance and its current market valuation.

For more:
- see this release from FairPoint

Related articles:
Maglan Capital asks FairPoint to consider sale of company, share buyback
FairPoint's Sunu: Charter-Time Warner Cable deal won't affect broadband growth
FairPoint's Sunu: 1 Gbps won't turn around broadband subscriber growth
CenturyLink, FairPoint and Frontier protest special access changes, say it will impact rural market growth
CenturyLink, FairPoint, Frontier want voice service funded in areas not covered by CAF-II

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