Windstream taps Paul Sunu to be its next CEO

Oct. 31, 2023
Industry veteran brings 27 years of telecom experience and has been Chairman of the Board since 2020.
Windstream has named telecom industry veteran Paul Sunu as its new CEO and president, replacing Tony Thomas, who has decided to leave the company and step down from its board. According to the company, Sunu plans to enhance the company’s strategy, improve customer service, and chart its next phase of growth.

Since 2020, Sunu has served as the chairman of Windstream’s board and will retain that position.

Sunu brings 27 years of telecom industry experience and a long track record of positioning wireline providers for long-term growth. Previously, he served in senior leadership roles at various companies, including FairPoint Communications (now Consolidated), Hargray Communications, Hawaiian Telcom and Madison River Communications. In leading these companies, he was able to expand each company and advance their size by driving deals to merge them with larger providers.

One of his notable leadership roles was at the former FairPoint Communications. During his tenure as CEO of FairPoint, Sunu helped improve service quality, develop an 18,000 km-mile fiber network and served over 300 healthcare facilities and 1,600 fiber-to-the-tower connections, leading to a merger with Consolidated Communications. Earlier, he was co-founder of Madison River Communications, where he was instrumental in acquiring and integrating five RLEC operations, resulting in a merger with CenturyLink (now Lumen).

“Over the past three years as Chairman, I have come to appreciate the caliber of the management team and the determination, dedication and talent within Windstream. I look forward to working with them to serve our customers excellently as we expand our fiber network,” Sunu said.

During his tenure as CEO, Thomas had led several critical initiatives for Windstream, including making several acquisitions, restructuring under Chapter 11, and advancing its fiber broadband transition for consumers and its long-haul optical networks. Before becoming CEO, Thomas also held several leadership positions, including CFO of Windstream.

“I am proud of what we have achieved at Windstream,” said Mr. Thomas. “I thank the Board for their support and remain confident that the Company is on the right course.”

Elliott Investment Management, OakTree Capital Management, PIMCO and other principal investors own Windstream.

About the Author

Sean Buckley

Sean is responsible for establishing and executing the editorial strategies of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report across their websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products.

Sponsored Recommendations

The Journey to 1.6 Terabit Ethernet

May 24, 2024
Embark on a journey into the future of connectivity as the leaders of the IEEE P802.3dj Task Force unveil the groundbreaking strides towards 1.6 Terabit Ethernet, revolutionizing...

The Pluggable Transceiver Revolution

May 30, 2024
Discover the revolution of pluggable transceivers in our upcoming webinar, where we delve into the advancements propelling 400G and 800G coherent optics. Learn how these innovations...

Data Center Interconnection

June 18, 2024
Join us for an interactive discussion on the growing data center interconnection market. Learn about the role of coherent pluggable optics, new connectivity technologies, and ...

Coherent Routing and Optical Transport – Getting Under the Covers

April 11, 2024
Join us as we delve into the symbiotic relationship between IPoDWDM and cutting-edge optical transport innovations, revolutionizing the landscape of data transmission.