Kate Johnson to replace Jeff Storey as Lumen CEO

Sept. 13, 2022
"Kate's appointment and the strategic transition announced today are the culmination of a succession plan that Jeff and the board have been engaged in for the past several years," said T. Michael Glenn, chairman of Lumen's board of directors.

Lumen Technologies (NYSE: LUMN) has announced that President and CEO Jeff Storey will step down effective November 7, 2022. The service provider has named Kate Johnson, most recently president of Microsoft US, as his replacement. Storey will remain with the company through December 31, 2022, to smooth the transition.

Johnson resigned from her role at Microsoft in August 2021 after a four-year tenure. Her 40 years in telecommunications and technology also includes stops at General Electric, Oracle, Red Hat, UBS Investment Bank, and Deloitte Consulting. She also has been a board member of UPS since November 2020.

"Kate's appointment and the strategic transition announced today are the culmination of a succession plan that Jeff and the board have been engaged in for the past several years," said T. Michael Glenn, chairman of Lumen's board of directors. "We are confident she is the right leader to take the reins at this important moment in Lumen's history. Kate is an inspiring and motivational leader who is known for identifying and creating growth. She is the ideal CEO for Lumen."

"I am proud to take on the CEO role and eager to advance the strategy Jeff and the team have created,” Johnson commented. Lumen has made significant progress strengthening its balance sheet, expanding its fiber footprint and enhancing its portfolio of digital capabilities. I'm looking forward to leading this great company through its next chapter and helping customers leverage the Lumen platform to power amazing digital world experiences."

Storey had served as president and CEO since January 2019, having joined the company, then CenturyLink, via its acquisition of Level 3 Communications in 2013 (see “CenturyLink plans CEO succession” and “CenturyLink will buy Level 3 for $34 billion”). The transition from CenturyLink to Lumen, and the transactions associated with the recasting of the company to a greater focus on business customers, is the most significant milestone in his tenure. The company is currently wrapping up the sale of CLEC assets in 18 states to funds managed by Apollo, a transaction that will create Brightspeed (see "FCC approves Lumen/Apollo Brightspeed sale").

"It has been a privilege to serve as Lumen's CEO," said Storey. "Throughout my time with the company, I have been incredibly impressed by our team's commitment to Lumen and to our core purpose of furthering human progress through technology. I am proud of all that we have achieved together as we have driven forward on Lumen's transformation journey. However, when I took this amazing job, I always spoke openly with the board about my future timeline for retirement. I am confident that the organization has the strategy in place to deliver on its priority of achieving profitable revenue growth. I am very excited to welcome Kate to Lumen. I believe her experience, leadership, and enthusiasm are exactly what we need as we drive the company forward."

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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