Qwest CEO flamed for flying high

At a company scandalized by Joe Nacchio, new Qwest CEO Edward Mueller probably didn't figure to fall into hot water so quickly. However, huge criticism has erupted over a hiring perk that allows Mueller's family use of the Qwest corporate jet (Qwest is based in Denver, while Mueller's current family home is in California, where his stepdaughter attends high school. Mueller reportedly is looking for a new home in Denver.)

Use of corporate jet privileges by families of executives is something that sounds excessive (we certainly don't condone use of the FierceTelecom corporate jet by editors' families). However, it's pretty common in almost any industry, and in telecom, where there are so few executives who truly have the right experience and skill to manage a massive ILEC, that sort of perk should be expected within some reasonable bounds.

It's not scandalous and it's not illegal, just the price of getting the best person for the job. That's not what shareholders during Nacchio's reign will want to hear, but can they recommend anyone else for this very important job who wouldn't seek something similar?

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The Rocky Mountain News covers the controversy