PAETEC Seeks New Channel Chief

John Leach, South region president for PAETEC Communications (PAET), left the Rochester, N.Y., CLEC Friday for a new post at Windstream Corp., vacating the top channel chief spot in the process, according to PAETEC Chairman and CEO Arunas Chesonis.

Chesonis said Leach’s former boss Mario DeRiggi, president of sales and service for PAETEC, will be taking over channel leadership responsibilities until a replacement can be found. Chesonis said there are several internal and external candidates and he expected the job post to be filled in 60 days.

Leach took over as channel chief in December 2008 after Chris Bantoft, West region president and executive vice president for alternate channels, was laid off, the company announced Dec. 5, as part of cost-cutting measures in light of the worsening U.S. economic climate.

Chesonis explained that each of PAETEC’s four regional presidents take on additional companywide responsibilities, such as for the software business or training or channels. However, each region has a vice president of channels, so they – along with DeRiggi – will ensure continuity in the channel program while Leach’s replacement is found, he said.

The regional vice presidents of channels include Jerry Tedino, East region; Ron Beer and Richard Stalder, South region; Mark Denney, Central region; and Dan Harper, West region.

This isn’t the first change in leadership for the PAETEC channel. In October 2008, Jeff Howe, the company’s vice president and general manager for the PAETEC agent channel, was named president of PAETEC subsidiary Allworx, an IP PBX maker. PAETEC said during Howe’s tenure, Bantoft remained the head of channels, however.

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