Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Bell CEO's contract extended


Mooney oversaw sale of money-losing broadband

By Mike Boyer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Cincinnati Bell Inc. has extended the contract of CEO Kevin Mooney through the end of August as it weighs its management structure after divesting its money-losing broadband business.

Mooney succeeded former chairman and CEO Rick Ellenberger in September. Under an amended employment agreement signed in February, Mooney had a seven-day window after completing sale of the broadband business to terminate his employment.

The employment agreement calls for Mooney to receive an incentive equal to his annual salary of $660,000 and bonus of at least $660,000 for completing a financial restructuring which included selling the Austin, Texas-based broadband business and extending its bank credit agreements.

Earlier this year, the company negotiated an extension of its credit maturities to 2006 and obtained $350 million in new financing to reduce its debt.

The company completed the sale of its Broadwing Communications Services unit to C III Communications LLC on June 13. In a statement Monday, it said it reached agreement with Mooney to extend the termination provision of his contract through Aug. 31.

"With the majority of the elements of the company's restructuring successfully completed, the board of directors will turn its attention to the corporate structure and management necessary to operate the company going forward," the company said.

Neither Mooney nor Phil Cox, new chairman of Bell's board of directors, could be reached for comment Monday.

A spokesman said the company has made it clear that with the decision to sell the broadband business and focus on its Cincinnati Bell operations, it wouldn't need separate corporate and operating managements. Jack Cassidy is chief operating officer of Cincinnati Bell and oversees its local operations.

Mooney, who has indicated his willingness to remain with the company as long as the board wants him, has said the company would look at refinancing its long-term debt possibly though some sort of public offering soon to take advantage of lower interest rates now available.

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E-mail mboyer@enquirer.com




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