Lumen Technologies To Shake Up Executive Leadership Team

Telecom giant Lumen Technologies is making changes to its executive leadership team.

Lumen is bringing on tech veterans Sham Chotai as executive vice president of product and technology and Jay Barrows as executive vice president of enterprise sales and public sector in a series of moves that the company said will better position it for growth and to place more of an emphasis on customer experience.

The company told CRN there will be no impacts to its channel leadership. Lumen’s channel chief, Dave Young, now reports to Barrows.

[Related: Lumen Technologies Names Microsoft U.S. Leader As CEO; Jeff Storey To Retire ]

Lumen Technologies, formerly CenturyLink, has struggled in recent years against financial headwinds. The company has spent the last two years focusing its investments on growing its enterprise business through strategic IT services and accelerating adoption of the Lumen platform. To that end, Lumen in October sold off its incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) assets in 20 states to Brightspeed, a brand-new telecom company that launched its operations that same month.ADVERTISEMENT

Chotai in his new role will be responsible for evolving IT architectures and solutions offerings to better meet Lumen customer needs. The executive is no stranger to enterprise-wide digital transformations. Prior to his most recent position as General Manager of Copado Robotic Testing, Chotai has held various C-Suite positions at companies such as General Electric (GE) and Hewlett-Packard.

Barrows, who is also a Lumen newcomer, will be responsible for helping Lumen’s enterprise customers, as well as federal, state, and local government agencies, digitally transform with Lumen solutions, the company said. Barrows has led tech sales teams in variety of roles at GE, Red Hat, and EnterpriseDB.

Barrows is replacing Ed Morche, a longtime telecom leader that joined CenturyLink after its acquisition of Level 3 Communications in 2017, a company in which he has spent more than 16 years. Morche is retiring on April 1, a Lumen spokesperson told CRN.

Zain Ahmed will continue in his role as senior vice president of public sector and report directly to Barrows. Barrows will report directly to Lumen President and CEO Kate Johnson, who joined the company in September.

“[Chotai and Barrows] will each play a critical role in modernizing our business and improving our execution capability … Both are agile leaders who have driven successful strategic corporate transformations with impressive results,” Johnson said in a statement on Thursday.

Ashley Haynes-Gaspar, former COO of US Business Applications and Industry at Microsoft who left the company in January, has also been added to Lumen’s marketing organization as executive vice president and customer experience officer, Wholesale and International, the company said.

The company is expected to release Q4 and full year 2022 earnings on February 7.LEARN MORE: Telecom 

 Learn About Gina Narcisi


Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at [email protected].


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