Local Qwest Exec. Stanoch to Depart After Merger

John Stanoch confirmed Monday that he will leave Qwest next year after serving for 10 years as president of the company's Minnesota and North Dakota operations.

John Stanoch, who has served for 10 years as president of Qwest Communications International, Inc.'s Minnesota and North Dakota operations, confirmed Monday that he will be leaving Qwest following the closing of the company's merger with CenturyLink, Inc.

Stanoch said that he discussed several potential opportunities to stay on with the combined company, but decided that it was a “good time and natural time to explore other opportunities.”

Stanoch, a Minnesota native, will continue in his role with Qwest until the merger is completed in mid-2011, and in the meantime will stay focused on getting the merger approved in Minnesota.

Prior to joining Qwest in 2000, Stanoch served for two years as Minnesota's chief deputy attorney general and eight years as a Hennepin County District Court judge.

He is also active in several community organizations and activities and currently serves as chair of the Science Museum board of trustees and on the boards of the Minnesota Business Partnership, Minnesota Orchestral Association, and the YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis.

Stanoch said he will continue being involved in civic and community activities and is looking at future career opportunities in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. He doesn't have any firm plans for his next career, but did say that he plans to stay in the Twin Cities.

“I'm literally taking opportunities as they come up,” Stanoch said in a Monday interview.

Qwest announced its merger agreement with Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink in April and shareholders of both companies approved the agreement in August. Once the merger is completed, Qwest will become a wholly owned subsidiary of CenturyLink.