Windstream names Paul Sunu as CEO; Tony Thomas to depart

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 3,348 views 

Windstream announced Monday (Oct. 30) that Paul H. Sunu has been named President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He succeeds Tony Thomas, who has decided to depart the company and step down from the board following 17 years at Windstream.

Sunu has served as Chairman of the Board since 2020 and will retain his position

He brings 27 years of telecom industry experience and a strong track record of achieving strategic objectives and positioning wireline communications companies for long-term growth. He has previously served in senior leadership roles at several companies, including FairPoint Communications, Electric Lightwave, Hargray Communications Group, Inc., Hawaiian Telcom, Inc. and Madison River Communications.

“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 with excellence as we continue to expand our fiber network,” Sunu said.

During Thomas’ tenure, Windstream acquired, merged and integrated several companies, successfully restructured under Chapter 11, and launched its fiber transformation. Thomas also held several leadership positions throughout his tenure, including CFO of Windstream.

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

Windstream is owned by Elliott Investment Management, OakTree Capital Management, PIMCO and other principal investors.

“Paul is especially well suited to step into the role of CEO—he has deeply relevant industry experience, he knows Windstream well, and he is a proven leader with a strong record of moving fast and delivering long-term value. The Board is fully aligned in its belief that now is the right time for Paul to take the reins and lead the Company forward,” said Elliott Portfolio Manager Johannes Weber. “We are grateful to Tony for his years of service to Windstream and wish him the best. We anticipate a seamless transition and are looking forward to Windstream’s next phase of growth.”