Executive Exit Sends Level 3 Shares Lower

There's been a shakeup at Level 3 (LVLT), with president and chief operating officer Kevin O'Hara stepping down.

There's been a shakeup at Level 3 (LVLT) in which president and chief operating officer Kevin O'Hara is stepping down and leaving the company. O'Hara is a co-founder of Level 3, and CEO Jim Crowe said his departure was "obviously a difficult decision for both of us. At this time, however, Kevin and I have agreed that a different perspective will be of benefit to our company," Crowe said in a statement.

Shares of Level 3 are trading at $1.91 a share, down 27 cents, a drop of 12 percent.

O'Hara's responsibilities will be assumed by Crowe and Neil Hobbs will become executive vice president, operations. Level 3 announced that Sunit Patel, the company's current chief financial officer, will continue in the role of CFO. The company has terminated its previously announced search for a new CFO.


"Over the last several months, we have said that our company's primary goals for 2008 are to increase sales and service installation rates and to achieve sustainable, positive free cash flow as soon as reasonably possible," said Crowe. "We have already made real progress toward achieving these important objectives. I expect that the organizational changes we are announcing today will further contribute to the improvements we have already realized."

Eric Savitz has more at Barron's Tech Trader Daily.