Qwest Taps Wholesale Veteran to Lead Unit

March 1, 2005

2 Min Read
Qwest Taps Wholesale Veteran to Lead Unit

By Khali Henderson

Roland Thornton

In December, Roland R. Thornton

was promoted to executive vice president, wholesale markets, for Qwest Communications International Inc., replacing Teresa Taylor, who is now executive vice president and chief human resources officer.

While Qwests CEO Richard Notebaert is known for seemingly dramatic shifts in his top management team every few years, his new choice to run the wholesale division is not unfamiliar with the territory. Since 1995, Thornton has been in the wholesale telecom business.

He comes to the job after serving 18 months as senior vice president of customer operations for the Qwest business unit under Taylor. During his tenure, he had responsibility for service ordering, billing centers, credit, service management, sales engineering, and program and project management.

Previously, he held posts as vice president of interconnection services at SBC Communications Inc. and vice president of customer operations for Ameritech.

Thornton’s ascendancy coincides with a reevaluation of the company’s wholesale pricing, which results in increases for its resellers. The company determined its long-distance pricing was under the market, so it repriced its services on a LATA-by-LATA basis, he says. The new rates, which have not been disclosed, mean the company is no longer selling at a loss and will, he says, create a margin for Qwest.

Thornton says overall the wholesale market is flat to declining and he expects Qwest Wholesale to fall in line with that trend. “We are anticipating price compression on the data side,” he adds.

Across the board, he says, price compression has made margins razor thin for the wholesaler, and Thornton will be looking closely at the unit’s credit and collections policies.

He also says there are initiatives underway to improve operational efficiencies with enhancements to its systems, including Remote Control, the interface that its wholesale customers use to interact with the carrier. Improvements are scheduled every quarter, he says, citing service ordering, an online billing dispute tool and a collector’s dashboard as likely ones for first quarter.

He also says that the company is in the process of developing a common front-end interface to its legacy ILEC systems and its unregulated company systems. Thornton says it could be available as early as third quarter.

Finally, Thorton says he is most excited about a new product the carrier planned for a mid-February launch - Qwest Express Carrier Billing, a new OCN billing service.


Qwest Communications International Inc. www.qwest.com

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