Sterling To Head Windstream-PAETEC Channel

Channel Partners confirmed that Dan Sterling will continue to head up the partner program for Windstream Corp., following its acquisition of PAETEC.

The Windstream-PAETEC deal, which closed Dec. 1, created an S&P 500 company that serves more than 450,000 businesses with estimated annual revenues of $6.1 billion and EBITDA of $2.4 billion, with 70 percent of revenues deriving from business and broadband sales.

John Leach, executive vice president of business sales for Windstream, told Channel Partners that Sterling, formerly Windstream’s vice president of indirect sales, will lead the combined program as vice president  national channel partners. Sterling is a 20-year veteran in the telecommunications industry. He came to Windstream through its acquisition of NuVox in 2010. Sterling spent 13 years as vice president of indirect sales at NuVox.

Leach also told Channel Partners that Windstream plans to honor all PAETEC agent agreements and is not planning to cut any agents. He added that there will be no contract changes for either Windstream or PAETEC agents “at this time,” but addendums will be made available soon to allow agents to cross-sell the respective networks.

At the PlanetOne Communications channel event in November, Leach told an audience of PlanetOne agents that they should be able to sell both company’s networks on-net by June 2012. Wholesale NNIs between the two carriers already have been set up, he noted at the time.

Windstream announced Dec. 2 that it would cut 280 jobs over the next 120 days with more likely to come following the integration of PAETEC. Windstream said it has roughly 950 employees in Rochester and about 14,500 overall.

in an email interview Monday, Leach said the company is not ready to comment on cuts to channel staff. At the PlanetOne event, Leach hinted at forthcoming layoffs among the channel managers.

These cuts do not mean less emphasis on the channel, however. Leach said the indirect sales channel is “going to be a significant part of our revenue going forward.” Presently, he estimated about 35 percent of revenue comes from the combined indirect sales channel.

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