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Qwest names top execs for new company

The long-distance phone carrier names a new management team to head the combined company resulting from its merger with US West.

Qwest Communications today named a new management team to head the combined company resulting from its merger with US West.

The new team combines key executives from both companies with a focus on pushing the new company into Internet business, Qwest chief executive Joseph Nacchio said in a statement.

Reporting to Nacchio will be Betsy Bernard, executive vice president of consumer and small business markets; Stephen Jacobsen, executive vice president of global business and government markets; Lewis Wilks, president of Internet and multimedia markets; Jim Smith, president of DEX, or directories; Peter Mannetti, president of wireless business; and Afshin Mohebbi, president of worldwide network services and operations.

Sol Trujillo The announcement comes just days after US West CEO Sol Trujillo said he will step down once the two companies have merged, citing differences in vision with Nacchio. Trujillo had been slated to take on a co-chairman role in the new company. In a letter to employees, he said that he would resign his position in order to smooth the transition to a new company.

Also earlier this week, speculation was swirling on Wall Street that local phone giants BellSouth and SBC Communications may merge their U.S. wireless operations. At the same time, rumors persist that German communications powerhouse Deutsche Telekom may be interested in Qwest regardless of its proposed deal with US West.

However, Qwest is continuing to trudge along with its pending merger plans with the local phone carrier. Those plans cleared their first hurdle in early September after U.S. antitrust regulators approved the $35 billion deal. Company executives plan to wrap up the deal by mid-2000.

Qwest named other senior level executives today in corporate finances, information technology and other administrative posts. The long-distance phone carrier also said other executive appointments will be announced at a later time, including the vacant spot for president of consumer broadband services.