Windstream Extends CEO Tony Thomas' Contract to 2024 - Southern Business Review


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Monday, February 25, 2019

Windstream Extends CEO Tony Thomas' Contract to 2024

by Sarah Campbell-Miller  on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 11:59 am   1 min read

Windstream CEO Tony Thomas

Windstream Holdings Inc. of Little Rock has extended the contract of its CEO, Tony Thomas, to 2024.

The publicly traded telecommunications firm announced the extension in filing Friday with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Thomas' continued leadership and performance are critical to the success of Windstream and provide the continuity and stability needed for the company to focus on serving customers and all other stakeholders while the board of directors and management evaluate Windstream's options," the company said in the filing.

Under the deal, Thomas will be paid an annual base salary of at least $1 million. He also received a one-time, time-based cash award of $2 million that will vest in full in three years.

More: See Thomas' employment agreement with Windstream.

The announcement comes as Windstream grapples with a $310 million judgment in federal court stemming from the 2015 spinoff of its fiber and copper assets into a separate company. Windstream said its board directors were finalizing the agreement with Thomas when the ruling came down.

U.S. District Court Southern District Judge Jesse Furman ruled Feb. 15 in favor of hedge fund Aurelius Capital Management of New York, which alleged that Windstream's spinoff violated the terms of some of its outstanding bonds. 

Windstream executives had expressed confidence amid the legal wrangling, but also warned that, should the court find it in technical default on the bonds, it could be on the hook to repay bondholders immediately or forced into bankruptcy.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported that Windstream could filing bankruptcy protection as early as today.

Thomas' total compensation increased by $1 million to $5.4 million in 2017 from $4.4 million in 2016, according to last year's preliminary annual proxy statement.