FairPoint CEO Hauser, Under Pressure From Creditors, Will Resign

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David Hauser has agreed to resign as CEO of insolvent FairPoint Communications Inc., something he knew could happen when he accepted the job just more than a year ago.

Still, Hauser says he’s surprised the creditors who will control FairPoint once it emerges from bankruptcy want him to go. But, “instead of creating a battle, it was in the best interest of the customers and employees for us to work with them and reach an agreement," Hauser told the Charlotte Business Journal this week.

FairPoint, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., went bankrupt in October 2009, weighted down by the $2.3 billion purchase of Verizon Communications Inc.’s operations in New England. Hauser was hired out of retirement in July 2009 to try and keep FairPoint liquid, but that didn’t happen. Then, last week, FairPoint creditors asked a federal judge to approve a leadership change, presumably to Paul Sunu. Sunu most recently served as CFO of Hargray Communications Group. Prior to that, he was CFO at Hawaiian Telcom, another LEC that, like FairPoint, went bankrupt after buying landline assets from Verizon.

Hauser reportedly will remain at FairPoint for a while as a consultant to Sunu.

Meanwhile, FairPoint has received post-bankruptcy reorganization approvals from regulators in Maine and New Hampshire. Vermont officials on June 28 rejected the company’s plans and FairPoint said last week it will try again for permission to emerge from insolvency.

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