Meet the 2013 rising stars of wireline

Sean Buckley, FierceTelecomWhile it's true that the CEO is responsible for the overall vision of a wireline provider, it's the innovative spirit of other members that that also help drive new services and network transformations.

In our new feature, The rising stars of wireline in 2013, FierceTelecom profiles five wireline executives who are the risk takers or change leaders at their respective wireline companies.

We can place these five individuals into two main categories:

Incumbent transformers: Four of our candidates are with incumbent service providers. The clear theme that they all have in common is they are helping to drive transformation in terms of technology and service initiatives at their telcos. Take Mike Fitz, VP of Wireline for Sprint (NYSE: S). While known today more for its wireless strength, Fitz and his team are advancing into new areas including Carrier Ethernet and cloud services with a particular focus on mid-sized companies.

No less compelling are the three ILECs on our list--CenturyLink  (NYSE: CTL), Frontier (Nasdaq: FTR), and Lumos Networks (Nasdaq: LMOS). CenturyLink CTO Matt Beal has led the once voice-centric telco into new areas including cloud services and IPTV. Likewise, Lumos Networks' Craig Drinkhall is helping his company advance its presence in burgeoning metro service markets such as Richmond, Va. And Frontier's Lisa Partridge is building a new wholesale Ethernet service presence.

New challengers: The challenger on our list is clearly Kevin Lo of Google Fiber (Nasdaq: GOOG). As we note in our feature, Google may not be an established broadband provider, but its ongoing work to bring 1 Gbps fiber to the premises service to more cities in the Midwest and West is driving local incumbent telcos to respond with similar FTTP plans.  

While we think these five executives are going to be the game changers in the wireline industry in 2013, there are certainly others who we could consider for next year's list. I encourage you to share your thoughts with us in the comments.--Sean

Take a look at our new feature detailing 2013's rising stars in wireline