Sunit Patel is leaving his position as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at CenturyLink to become the new Executive Vice President, Merger and Integration Lead at T-Mobile.
CenturyLink, Inc. and T-Mobile US made both announcements on Monday.
Patel's resignation is effective Sept. 28. He'll start at T-Mobile, effective October 1.
In his new role at T-Mobile, Patel will lead T-Mobile’s strategic planning efforts to integrate its business with Sprint as the two companies work through the necessary regulatory reviews and other closing conditions to combine and become the New T-Mobile.
On April 29, 2018, T-Mobile and Sprint announced they had entered into a definitive agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction. The parties expect the transaction to close in the first half of 2019. Patel will report to T-Mobile President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert
CenturyLink names interim CFO
CenturyLink will initiate a search process for his replacement that will include internal and external candidates.
Neel Dev, CenturyLink's group vice president of finance, has been named interim CFO effective upon Patel's departure. Dev served as the integration planning lead for Level 3 in the recent CenturyLink acquisition and has responsibility for business unit finance support, supply chain and procurement, capital governance management, budgeting and financial performance analysis and management. He has been part of Patel's leadership team for 14 years and has more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, in both financial and operational roles.
"Sunit has made significant contributions to CenturyLink and Level 3 as CFO, and he has been a valuable partner to both companies and to me," said Jeff Storey, president and chief executive officer of CenturyLink. "Additionally, Sunit did a great job in building bench strength and an excellent leadership team across the finance organization. As Sunit focused on our external stakeholders, Neel has been our de facto operational CFO and part of my management team for the past 10 years. I am highly confident he will continue our drumbeat of financial discipline across CenturyLink with a focus on synergy attainment, operating efficiency and profitable growth."
CenturyLink completed a merger with Level 3 on Nov. 1. CEO Glen Post officially passed the leadership of the company to Jeff Storey on May 23. Post orignially was set to retire on Jan. 1., 2019.
Patel, as part of the merger, was among a handful of the top brass that received bonuses and incentives. He was paid a $1.3 million cash retention award after the merger closed. He also received two special long-term incentive grants of $1.5 million and $1.3 million. He also was eligible for a long-term incentive grant of up to $3 million. The first was expected in early 2018.
Patel earned a base salary of $750,000 per year and was eligible for up to 120 percent of his salary in bonuses each year.
Prior to his time at CenturyLink and Level 3, Patel served as CFO and co-founder of Looking Glass Networks, a facilities-based provider of metropolitan telecommunication transport services. He was also previously Treasurer of MCI WorldCom, and Treasurer of MFS Communications, a competitive local exchange carrier acquired by WorldCom. He formerly was responsible for Corporate Development and Strategic Planning for BJ Services Company, now a part of Baker Hughes, and has worked in investment banking.
Patel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering and Economics from Rice University and is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Industry: Telecommunications News