After serving for 34 years as a CenturyLink director, former CEO Glen Post has decided not to seek re-election to the company's board.
With a career of more than 40 years at CenturyLink, Post's departure from the board marked the end of an era for the company.
Post started working at CenturyLink’s predecessor company, Century Telephone Enterprises, in 1976. He served in various executive positions, including vice president and CFO, before being named CEO of CenturyLink in 1992 after Clark M. Williams, Jr., stepped down.
Following CenturyLink's acquisition of Level 3 Communications, former Level 3 CEO Jeff Storey was named CEO of CenturyLink as part of a transition plan that included Post staying on as executive chairman of the company's board of directors.
"I leave with a great sense of confidence in Jeff and our leadership team, of pride in our accomplishments together and a real optimism for our future," Post said in a statement. "I am honored to have worked with so many great people to make it so. I will continue to closely follow the Company and I encourage our employees to keep their feet firmly grounded in our Unifying Principles of honesty, integrity and fairness as they continue to push this great company forward."
Post will be remembered not only for his ability to drive organic growth but also for leading the purchases of Pacific Telecom, Embarq, Qwest, Savvis and Level 3. Those acquisitions helped transform CenturyLink from a small-town telephone company into a global operator.
"Glen has had a unique and remarkable career," said Storey, in a statement. "He led CenturyLink's transformation into what is today one of the world's leading network services providers. Because of his vision, our future is bright. I have appreciated his support, his counsel and his unfailing focus on doing the right thing. He leaves a legacy of leadership we all strive to emulate."
CenturyLink refreshes board of directors, adds new guidelines
In addition to Post's exit from the board, current non-executive board chairman Harvey Perry is set to retire in May due to the company's director retirement policy. Once Perry retires, T. Michael Glenn will assume the position of chairman of the board.
Glenn has served as a director since 2017, and is a member of CenturyLink's audit and human resources and compensation committees. He has also served as senior advisor at Oak Hill Capital Partners since November 2017.
Prior to his retirement in 2016, Glenn held various executive roles at FedEx Corporation and its predecessor, FedEx Express, for 35 years. Glenn's FedEx jobs included executive vice president of market development and corporation communications for FedEx Corporation.
He was also a member of the five-person executive committee, where he was responsible for planning and executing the corporation's strategic business activities, and president and CEO of FedEx Corporate Services, responsible for all marketing, sales and retail operations functions for all FedEx Corporation operating companies. Glenn currently serves as a director of Pentair plc and previously served as a director of Level 3 Communications.
CenturyLink's board of directors' facelift also includes the appointment of Hal Jones, which was effective on Wednesday. Jones was recommended to the board by Southeastern Asset Management.
From 2009 to 2013, Jones served as chief financial officer of Graham Holdings Company and its predecessor, The Washington Post Company. From 1989 until 2013, he worked in various capacities at The Washington Post Company. From January 2008 to December 2009, he served as the president and CEO of Kaplan Professional, a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company, and in a variety of other capacities from 1989 to 2008. Prior to joining The Washington Post Company, Jones worked for Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) from 1977 to 1988. Jones also serves as a director of Playa Hotels and Resorts.
With Jones' election, CenturyLink said its board will be comprised of 14 members until the 2020 Annual Shareholder Meeting, at which point the board intends to shave that number down to 11, 10 of whom will be independent and several of whom will have joined since 2015.
In addition to shaking up the board's composition, CenturyLink's board also approved several changes to its cooperate governance guidelines including limiting the average board tenure to no more than 10 years and the goal of having all non-CEO board members be independent.
CenturyLink is planning on keeping the board of directors to between 10 and 12 directors along with rotating board committee and board chairs approximately every five years.
"The CenturyLink board continuously reviews our governance practices and Board composition to ensure that we are aligned with the interests of all shareholders," said Storey. "We will continue to take actions that we believe will enable us to oversee the execution of a strategy that drives success for our shareholders, customers and employees."
During its third quarter earnings report in November, total revenue in the third quarter declined 3.6% to $5.606 billion compared to declines of 5.5% in the second quarter and 5% in the first quarter. CenturyLink posted quarterly earnings of $0.31 per share, just missing analysts' estimates of $0.33 per share.
CenturyLink's revenue from international and global accounts increased by 1%, while revenue from the small and medium business division declined by 6%. Enterprise revenue increased 3% year-over-year. Revenue from wholesale dropped by 7%, while the consumer sector fell by 9%.