EarthLink's Huff Retires, Didn't Plan on 'Being Here for 15 Years'


**Editor's Note: Click here to see which channel people were on the move in October and November.**

EarthLink Inc. on Monday said Rolla Huff is retiring and Joseph Eazor is taking over as president and CEO.

EarthLink's Rolla Huff announced his retirement.Huff, 57, has led EarthLink through a transition from consumer to business service provider. The Wall Street Journal reported that Huff had not planned to retire just yet but, while adding new board members this year, saw Eazor's potential.

"The more I talked with Joe, the more I began to realize that when I did name a successor he was just perfectly lined up for it," Huff told the WSJ. Thing was, Eazor, a 51-year-old EMC Corp. executive, had other opportunities in front of him. That pushed Huff's decision. "It was either we act or we pass. And I didn't want to pass," he told the Journal.

Huff further said that he spent his first three years at EarthLink explaining the brand "was still a company." Indeed, EarthLink, born during the dial-up boom alongside the likes of AOL, lost users as broadband became more prevalent. In the mid-2000s, EarthLink needed to change its strategy or risk obsolescence. Huff came in as president and CEO and, while retaining some of the dial-up business, turned EarthLink into a provider of hosted, managed and cloud services for SMBs, with an extensive channel program.

EarthLink's Joe Eazor"I didn't come here with the idea of being here for 15 years, I came here to get the business on a different course," Huff told the WSJ.

So, Eazor will take over EarthLink on Jan. 13. Huff will remain as chairman of the board throughout an unspecified transition period.

Eazor has worked in the IT industry for more than 20 years. He most recently led EMC's sales and customer operations as executive vice president and COO. He also has worked for HP and EDS, among other companies.  

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