Windstream Names Paul H. Sunu Chief Executive Officer

Industry veteran brings 27 years of telecom experience and has served as Chairman of the Board since 2020

Windstream announced today that Paul H. Sunu has been named President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. He succeeds Tony Thomas, who has decided to depart the Company and step down from the Board, following a distinguished 17 years at Windstream. Mr. Sunu has served as Chairman of the Board since 2020 and will retain his position. As CEO, he will enhance the effectiveness of the Company’s strategy, improve customer service and drive its next phase of growth.

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Paul H. Sunu, Windstream President and CEO (Photo: Business Wire)

Paul H. Sunu, Windstream President and CEO (Photo: Business Wire)

Mr. Sunu brings 27 years of telecom industry experience and a strong track record of achieving strategic objectives and positioning wireline communications companies for long-term growth. He has previously served in senior leadership roles at several companies, including FairPoint Communications, Electric Lightwave, Hargray Communications Group, Inc., Hawaiian Telcom, Inc. and Madison River Communications.

“Over the past three years as Chairman, I have come to appreciate the caliber of the management team and the determination, dedication and talent within Windstream. I look forward to working with them to serve our customers with excellence as we continue to expand our fiber network,” said Mr. Sunu.

During Mr. Thomas’ tenure, Windstream acquired, merged and integrated several companies, successfully restructured under Chapter 11 and launched its fiber transformation. Mr. Thomas also held several leadership positions, including CFO of Windstream.

“I am proud of what we have achieved at Windstream,” said Mr. Thomas. “I thank the Board for their support and remain confident that the Company is on the right course.”

Windstream is owned by Elliott Investment Management, OakTree Capital Management, PIMCO and other principal investors.

“Paul is especially well suited to step into the role of CEO—he has deeply relevant industry experience, he knows Windstream well, and he is a proven leader with a strong record of moving fast and delivering long-term value. The Board is fully aligned in its belief that now is the right time for Paul to take the reins and lead the Company forward,” said Elliott Portfolio Manager Johannes Weber. “We are grateful to Tony for his years of service to Windstream and wish him the best. We anticipate a seamless transition and are looking forward to Windstream’s next phase of growth.”

Paul H. Sunu Biography

Mr. Sunu is an accomplished executive with over 27 years of telecom experience, with a focus on rural telecommunication. During his tenure as CEO of FairPoint Communications, Inc., he helped improve service quality, develop an 18K-mile fiber network and served over 300 health care facilities and 1,600 fiber-to-the-tower connections, leading to a merger with Consolidated Communications. He was a co-founder of Madison River Communications, where he was instrumental in acquiring and integrating five RLEC operations, resulting in a merger with CenturyLink (now Lumen). He has served on numerous boards, including as Chairman and Vice Chairman of Electric Lightwave, where he helped guide the transformation of the company’s business model into a fiber-centric operation, resulting in a merger with Zayo.

About Windstream

Windstream Holdings is a privately held communications and software company. Windstream offers managed communications services, including SD-WAN and UCaaS, and high-capacity bandwidth and transport services to businesses across the U.S. The company also provides premium broadband, entertainment, and security services through an enhanced fiber network to consumers and small and midsize businesses primarily in rural areas in 18 states. Additional information is available at Follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @Windstream.

About Elliott Investment Management

Elliott Investment Management L.P. manages approximately $59.2 billion of assets as of June 30, 2023. Founded in 1977, it is one of the oldest investment managers of its kind under continuous management. The Elliott funds’ investors include pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, funds-of-funds, high net worth individuals and families, and employees of the firm. For more information, please visit

Category: Corporate


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