FairPoint names Metge as its new legal chief

FairPoint Communications

FairPoint Communications has named Bruce Metge as executive vice president and chief legal officer, marking another transition in the telco’s top management ranks.

A 35-year legal veteran, Metge comes to FairPoint from Hillcrest Laboratories where he served as the firm's general counsel. Hillcrest specializes in complex motion sensing software used throughout the world in television monitors, virtual reality and telecommunication devices.

Before coming to Hillcrest, Metge worked as general counsel and chief compliance officer for Catalyst Health Solutions, a publicly traded administrator of the prescription drug component of health benefit programs.

Earlier, he was a partner at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Having a new chief legal officer in place comes at a transitional and challenging time for FairPoint. Earlier this year, FairPoint named Karen Turner as the operator's new CFO following Ajay Sabherwal's resignation.

At the same time, the telco has come under fire from its shareholders. 

Maglan Capital, one of FairPoint’s minority shareholders, called upon the telco to rework its company structure by ousting four board members. In August, Maglan’s co-founders David Tawil and Steven Azarbad said in a letter to Paul Sunu, CEO of FairPoint, that they want board members Dennis Austin, Michael Mahoney, David Treadwell and Wayne Wilson to "immediately tender their resignations" and warned they would push for a special meeting if no action is taken.

At the same time, the company has intimated that it would be amenable to either purchasing or being bought out by another service provider. Sunu told investors during its first quarter 2015 earnings call that it "must consider mergers and acquisition as either seller or buyer as our overall strategy."

While not announcing any specific deals yet, the telco has continued to reiterate a consolidation theme during every quarterly earnings call -- so a new legal chief could help FairPoint navigate whatever journey it decides to take.

For more:
- see the release

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