Spotlight: Schaeffer-haters to the left

Is it possible for "one of the most hated men in telecom" to receive a magazine tribute? It is indeed, as Forbes, in an upcoming print story already posted online, profiles Cogent Communcations CEO Dave Schaeffer, who it describes with those very words. The story highlights much of what telecom industry insiders already know about how Cogent's ultra-aggressive pricing and marketing measures have helped define the business bandwidth market's competitive landscape. The story notes that Cogent carries 17 percent of all Internet traffic, and is moving more "bit-miles" per year than many larger carriers.

The story also notes Cogent's current challenges: Its stock is down about 62 percent this year, and it had earlier said it might miss Wall Street earnings expectations. The story does not mention, however, Cogent's revamp of its sales effort earlier this year in an effort to reduce churn and boost sales productivity.

Cogent's ability to get under the skin of--and under-cut--its competitors is part of what has earned Schaeffer the "hated" tag, which like most "hated men," he embraces to get his company that much more notice (as the photo accompanying the story proves). Actually, Schaeffer's willingness to talk openly about his competitive battles and air other carriers' dirty laundry might have even more to do with that tag.

For more:
- read this story at Forbes

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