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Fusion Connect Chooses Windstream-EarthLink Vet as New COO

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Fusion Connect has hired Windstream-EarthLink vet John Dobbins as its new chief operating officer as part of a broader company transformation.

In this role, Dobbins will partner with Mario DeRiggi, chief revenue officer, to redefine the overall product strategy.

Fusion Connect's John Dobbins

Fusion Connect’s John Dobbins

In January,Fusion Connect emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy, which eliminated about $400 million of its long-term debt in the reorganization.

Dobbins said Fusion has a “great foundation to offer best-in-class managed service solutions.”

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in July.

“All of the building blocks are here,” he said. “I’ve seen what it takes to succeed in this space through past experiences at companies like Windstream, XO and Global Crossing. What we have here at Fusion Connect with committed talent, an infrastructure upon which to build, and the right technology vendor relationships is compelling. We have an opportunity here to do something unique in this space — more to come.”

Fusion Connect will enable its partners with “solutions and a differentiated customer experience that will make them successful with their clients,” Dobbins said.

“Partnering with Mario DeRiggi, I will also be ensuring that the systems and processes will support the channel community, as they are an integral part of our go-to-market strategy,” he said.

At the top of Dobbins’ to-do list are:

  • Ensuring reliability across the portfolio.
  • Increasing development on next-generation solutions.
  • Creating specific initiatives to drive a unique customer experience.
  • Driving efficiency and scalability to “enable us to go further up market and reinvest in high-value efforts.”

“I am committed to building repeatable, reliable processes — automated or not,” he said.

Long History in the Channel

At Windstream, Dobbins’  team developed and managed the company’s SD-WAN, SDN/NFV, unified communications, fiber transport and cloud services. Prior to Windstream he was EarthLink’s executive vice president and managing director of network operations and carrier. Windstream acquired EarthLink in 2017.

Dobbins also held senior roles at XO and Global Crossing.

Dobbins will help Fusion Connect transform away from being a traditional telecom provider and into a managed services provider.

“We are very excited about having John on board,” said Brian Crotty, Fusion Connect’s CEO. “He will evolve our core applications like UCaaS, security and managed services, while also redefining the foundational elements of our next-generation IP backbone.”


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