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Frontier Taps Dish Alum as CEO as Debt Question Looms

The company hired a new leader known for completing "turnaround initiatives."

James Anderson

December 4, 2019

3 Min Read
Debt

Frontier Communications is appointing a new CEO as it mulls over an important financial decision.

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Frontier’s Bernie Han

Bernard  “Bernie” Han will lead the Norwalk, Connecticut-based telco, which has been discussing with creditors how it will handle its $17.5 billion debt load. Pamela Reeve, independent chairman of Frontier’s board of directors, said Han will “further Frontier’s efforts to drive operational improvements in our business while continuing to evaluate the company’s capital structure.”

“Bernie is a proven industry leader who has a broad-based background with a long track record of developing organizational talent and enhancing financial and operational performance while driving and navigating strategic shifts in the industry,” Reeve said. “In addition, he has a passion for serving customers with new and innovative solutions that meet their evolving needs with a focus on increasing value for all stakeholders.”

Daniel McCarthy will step down from his roles as CEO, president and on the board of directors. Sources told Bloomberg last month that the company was looking for a new chief executive.

“As we continue to take action to improve Frontier’s operational, financial and strategic position, now is the right time to transition leadership,” Reeve said. “We thank Dan for his nearly three decades of service to Frontier and tireless commitment to customers and employees and wish him the best in the future.”

Han most recently served as Dish Network’s chief strategy officer, where Reeve said he “led turnaround initiatives that increased profitability, enhanced customer experiences and reduced churn rate.”

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in November.

“Frontier has a strong core business that maintains the trust of millions of customers across the country, and I am honored to take on the role of CEO at a time where we have both challenges to overcome and substantial opportunities ahead,” Han said. “I look forward to working with the board of directors and leadership team as we continue to execute on our initiatives to drive operational performance, invest in our business and become a stronger partner to our residential and enterprise customers.”

Creditors have urged Frontier to put together a restructuring plan, according to Bloomberg. They hired consultancy Altman Vilandrie & Co. to help explore a plan. One creditor group, Discovery Capital Management, suggested that the company would do well to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy quickly. Frontier will owe more than $300 million of interest in March.

McCarthy said he will continue to cheer on Frontier after stepping down. He joined Frontier as executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2008 and assumed his CEO role in 2015.

“It has been an incredible experience leading Frontier over the last four years, and I leave knowing the company is in great hands with Bernie at the helm of this skilled and dedicated organization. I remain a firm believer in Frontier’s future,” he said.

The vendor announced a partnership with PlanetOne Communications earlier this year.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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