Windstream taps Gunderman to lead REIT company

Windstream has appointed Kenny Gunderman to be president and CEO of the company's proposed real estate investment trust (REIT) spinoff, Communications Sales & Leasing Inc. (CS&L), marking what is a new era for the once rural-focused telco.

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Gunderman, who will begin work at the company on March 2, currently serves as executive vice president and co-head of investment banking for Stephens Inc.

He comes to the new role with plenty of business and telecom related experience.

During his nearly nine-year tenure at Stephens, Gunderman gained expertise in public and private company advisory and financings. Before joining Stephens in 2006, he was a member of the telecom investment banking group at Lehman Brothers, where he advised on various transactions and financings totaling more than $125 billion.

"His appointment significantly advances our work to complete the REIT spinoff, which will enable Windstream to accelerate network investments, reduce debt and maximize shareholder value," said Tony Thomas, Windstream president and CEO, in a release.

In January, the service provider got all of the state regulatory approvals it needs from state public service commissions in its territory to move ahead with its planned REIT spinoff that it announced last July.

Gunderman's appointment comes amidst a leadership shake-up at Windstream. Former CEO Jeff Gardner resigned in December and was replaced by Thomas. In addition to Thomas, the service provider recently named Integra veteran Joseph Harding as its new EVP and CMO for its enterprise business.

For more:
- see the release

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