Windstream bumps Smith up to CFO as Gunderman exits

Windstream couldn’t escape the C-suite shuffle that’s taken telecom by storm the past few weeks, abruptly announcing it is replacing its CFO of nearly eight years Bob Gunderman with an internal candidate, effective immediately.

The operator promoted treasurer and SVP of financial planning Drew Smith to assume Gunderman’s role. Smith has been with Windstream since 2008, working his way up from accountant to staff manager of network cost to various SVP roles. He has served as SVP of financial planning and Treasurer since 2017, overseeing financial forecasting, treasury and capital market functions, debt management and business development.

Tony Thomas, Windstream CEO, said in a statement Smith “has a deep understanding of the financial and operational drivers of our business, is data driven and results oriented. He will lead our efforts to continue to invest in our strategic growth areas to drive improvements in operating results.”

Gunderman is making his exit after 14 years at Windstream. He joined as VP of Financial Planning and Analysis in 2008 and has served as CFO since late 2014.

A Windstream representative told Fierce Gunderman will assist with the transition and serve in an advisory capacity until November 1.

The company’s move comes amid a flurry of C-suite turnover in the telecom industry. Earlier this week, Charter Communications announced Tom Rutledge is retiring after a decade as CEO and will be replaced by COO Chris Winfrey. Lumen Technologies and Altice USA also tapped new CEOs this month, with the former bringing in former Microsoft exec Kate Johnson and the latter former Comcast exec Dennis Mathew to take the reins.

Lumos and LS Networks also recently appointed new CEOs in August.