NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Representatives of holders of unsecured senior notes issued by Frontier Communications Corporation (OTCMKTS: FTRCQ) (“Frontier” or “the Company”) today announced that they have selected John Stratton to serve as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors upon Frontier’s emergence from Chapter 11.
“We are excited that John Stratton, an executive with a proven track record leading telecom businesses through all phases of the investment life cycle, will oversee Frontier’s strategic direction following the Company’s emergence from bankruptcy,” said Rob Schriesheim, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors.
Mr. Schriesheim continued, “John’s agreeing to serve as Executive Chairman upon the company’s emergence from Chapter 11 is a powerful endorsement of the Company’s ability to deliver value to customers and shareholders. This is a natural evolution of John’s role as a constructive Board Observer and partner whose contributions in support of the Finance Committee’s leadership have been greatly appreciated. Upon emergence, the Company will have reduced its total outstanding indebtedness by more than $10 billion and have achieved the financial flexibility required to support any decisions by the new Board for aggressive investments in its network, operations and customer service.”
Mr. Stratton became a Board Observer at Frontier in May of 2020 after he was selected by creditors in connection with Frontier’s restructuring. As a Board Observer, Mr. Stratton has supported Frontier’s Finance Committee as it developed a strategic plan focused on delivering profitable growth through (i) the delivery of high-speed broadband service to customers across 25 states, (ii) driving operational efficiency, industry-leading customer service, and network reliability, (iii) strategic investments to extend the Company’s best-in-class fiber broadband service within its existing footprint and in adjacent markets; and (iv) identifying and recruiting key talent to support the Company’s efforts.
Mr. Stratton commented, “Since becoming a Board Observer of Frontier in May, I’ve had the opportunity to engage with the Finance Committee to review and evaluate the Company’s broad portfolio of assets and have developed strong confidence that Frontier can emerge as one of the nation’s leading broadband providers in the markets it serves. There is significant opportunity to drive operational efficiency, deliver an exceptional customer experience, expand Frontier’s fiber footprint and achieve profitable growth. I’m looking forward to working with the management team, helping drive execution of the Company’s strategic plan and achieving sustainable, long-term success.”
Mr. Stratton retired from Verizon Communications in 2018. During his 25 years with the company, he held multiple executive and leadership positions and played a pivotal role in positioning Verizon as the leading U.S. wireless carrier. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President and President of Global Operations, where he had full P&L responsibility for all of Verizon’s telecom businesses, generating more than $120 billion in annual revenue and serving more than 120 million customers worldwide. Prior to taking responsibility for Verizon’s global operations, Mr. Stratton served as Chief Operating Officer of Verizon Wireless and separately, President of its Global Enterprise Solutions Group. He also was Head of Wireline Divisions at Verizon, where he had full responsibility for all of Verizon’s wireline operations for seven years. During his time at Verizon, he led a substantial cost transformation of Verizon’s operations, developing and overseeing a restructuring of processes across all business segments, yielding more than $8 billion of annual operating expense savings. Mr. Stratton currently serves on the Board of Abbott Laboratories and General Dynamics.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York confirmed the Company’s Plan of Reorganization on August 21, 2020. The Company is targeting emergence from Chapter 11 in early 2021.
Ducera Partners LLC and Houlihan Lokey Inc. are serving as financial advisors and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Milbank LLP are serving as legal advisors to representatives of noteholders of Frontier.