Qwest's Euteneuer won't join Sprint until CenturyLink merger is complete

Sprint (NYSE: S) may have found the right candidate to replace current CFO Bob Brust in Qwest's (NYSE: Q) Joseph Euteneuer, but it looks like they're going to have to wait until CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) completes their merger with the RBOC.

Even though Euteneuer will leave the combined CenturyLink/Qwest when it completes its merger, a person close to the situation said in a Denver Post article that he expressed a strong desire to see his company though the deal.

According to the report, Dan Hesse, Sprint's CEO, told the company's board that Euteneuer "is the guy [Sprint officials] are interested in."

Current Sprint CFO Bob Brust said he would like to leave Sprint by no later than May 2011. The catch is that since the CenturyLink-Qwest deal might not be finalized until the middle of next year, Euteneuer who has been Qwest's CFO since 2008--might not be able to join Sprint until next June, the report said.

Of course, the delay to hire a new financial chief puts Sprint into a bit of limbo. Sprint not only has $1.65 billion in debt due in January and $2.75 billion due in 2012, but also a multibillion-dollar network modernization project.

Given the uncertainty of when the CenturyLink-Qwest merger will be complete, the company has not made a formal job offer to Euteneuer.

However, it does appear that the integration plan for CenturyLink/Qwest is on track.

During last week's Wells Fargo Securities 2010 Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Euteneuer said that the two management teams have put together their financial and billing integration plans, but many of the benefits won't be seen until the deal is complete.

"You can't really get the synergies from the financial systems from the deal because you have to merge the two financial systems together and you can't the synergies from the billing systems from the deal because you got to get it down to one billing system," he said. "Now, in the background, are we doing the work to decide on what systems we're going to use? Yes we are."

For more:
- Denver Post via Dow Jones has this article
- FierceWireless offers its take

Related articles:
Qwest makes its fiber work for wireless backhaul, consumer broadband, business
Qwest's (NYSE: Q) Q3 landline losses offset by broadband gains
Sizing up the wireline industry in the third quarter 2010
Qwest lights up Verizon's 4G Western wireless backhaul connection
SUPERCOMM: Qwest lights fiber-based mobile backhaul future
Qwest takes holistic view to wireless backhaul

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