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Windstream Names Thomas CEO, Gardner Resigns

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Windstream Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:WIN) today announced that Tony Thomas has been appointed president and chief executive officer and a director of Windstream, effective immediately. Thomas succeeds Jeff Gardner, the company's current president and CEO, who will stay on as senior adviser to the CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors through Feb. 1, 2015, to ensure an orderly transition. Thomas has principally served as Windstream's chief financial officer over the past eight years and most recently as the company's president of real estate investment trust (REIT) operations.

"I am proud to have led Windstream from its creation in 2006. It has been a privilege to work with our Board, leadership team and talented associates across the organization," said Jeff Gardner. "The Board and I agree that a change in perspective is needed in order to accelerate the pace of change within the company and to more effectively respond to the rapidly evolving needs of our customers. The Board's confidence in Tony is well placed. His leadership and strong financial acumen will benefit investors and customers as he leads Windstream in the future."

Jeff Hinson, Chairman of the Windstream Board of Directors, said: "On behalf of the Board, I thank Jeff for his contributions to the company over the past decade. He led the company's successful spinoff from Alltel Corp. and its transformation from a rural wireline telephone business to a FORTUNE 500 company and nationwide provider of advanced network communications and technology solutions. He also has served as a leading advocate for the telecom industry. Tony Thomas' telecom experience and in-depth knowledge of Windstream give the Board confidence that he is the right executive to lead the company, position the enterprise and consumer businesses for long-term success and drive revenue growth."

Windstream Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WIN)

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