Qwest�s CEO: stalker or hopeless romantic?

Qwest's CEO hasn't ruled out a possible hostile takeover in its quest to win MCI's heart.

Qwest Communications Chief Executive Officer Richard Notebaert just doesnÂ’t know when to give up.

Earlier this week, MCI accepted VerizonÂ’s new and improved acquisition offer for the third time. Notebaert graciously said he was pulling out of the three-month bidding war. But now, the Denver Post is reporting that he may still try to pursue a deal with MCI. The paper reports he has not ruled out the option of a hostile takeover by the shareholders.

In dating circles, Notebaert could be labeled a stalker. The guy just doesnÂ’t take "no" for an answer.

Here is how I imagine Notebaert trying to woo MCIÂ’s board of directors as he asks them for a date.

Notebaert: “MCI, I think we’d make a good couple. Will you go out with me?”

MCI: “No, I’m already going out with Verizon. So thanks, but no thanks.”

Notebaert: “Seriously, will you go out with me? I know you’ve been through the ringer, but you’re hot.”

MCI: “I said no, and I mean it. Now get lost!”

Verizon tries to diffuse the situation: “Look, MCI doesn’t want you. Now buzz off and let us live happily ever after.”

Notebaert: “Well, I’m not giving up without a fight. I am going to go around to all your friends bad-mouthing you and offering them money so they will force you to go out with me. Mark my words, MCI, you will be mine, oh, yes, you will be mine!”

Now, I donÂ’t fault Notebaert for his tenacity. I mean, weÂ’ve all been there. No one likes rejection, and sometimes we all hang on a little too long to things we know probably wonÂ’t work out. But this is a bit extreme. So my advice to poor Dick Notebaert is to face facts. MCI is just not that into you. Move on. YouÂ’ll find your perfect merger someday.

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