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Channel Partners Mag.: “Longtime Lightyear CEO Cedes Title to Colleagues”

May 1, 2011

Get to know your new LightYear CEO.  This move has been in the works for quite a while, and really, nothing changes here:  the roles had already been assumed, and they’re being made official by the announcement below.  Red highlights are mine.

Longtime Lightyear CEO Cedes Title to Colleagues
April 22, 2011

Kentucky-based CLEC Lightyear Network Solutions said on Friday it has revamped its management structure – the key change being J. Sherman Henderson III’s shift to a new role.

As of May 1, Henderson will become chair emeritus and founder, ceding his CEO position to Stephen M. Lochmuller, who currently serves as president. Randy Ammon, COO, will keep that title and also become president. Lightyear did not specify what may have prompted the moves, although Ammon did tell Channel Partners, “Sherm decided to move into this role, and the other changes were a natural progression within the company.”

Henderson will continue to work for Lightyear as an adviser and board member. In a prepared statement, Lochmuller said he is pleased with the new arrangement, “as I believe we have the team in place to achieve the company’s goals. The company will continue to focus on its core products and explore new product opportunities.”

Lightyear, which sells through indirect agents, specializes in local, long-distance, MPLS, Ethernet, VoIP, conferencing and wireless services. In late March, the provider reported a $3 million loss for 2010, compared to $3.7 million in losses for all of 2009. With the inclusion of the SouthEast Telephone acquisition, Lightyear’s losses fell to $2.9 million, since SouthEast posted a small profit.

On April 21, 2011, the Board appointed Stephen M. Lochmueller as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and Randy Ammon as the Company’s President and Chief Operating Officer, all effective May 1, 2011.  Through April 30, 2011, Mr. Lochmueller will continue to serve as the Company’s President.

Mr. Lochmueller, age 58, has been President of the Company since April 29, 2010.  Previously, Mr. Lochmueller served as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer beginning August 31, 2009.  From 2003 until 2009, Mr. Lochmueller served as President & CEO of Somerset Acquisition, LLC d/b/a Somerset Houseboats.  Mr. Lochmueller has more than 30 years of entrepreneurial business experience. His management and leadership skills include startups, multi-channel distribution, P & L, turnarounds and executive level oversight. His entry into the telecommunications industry began in 1985 when he joined McCaw Cellular as a General Manager. In late 1992, Mr. Lochmueller was appointed as the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Technology & Communications Liaison to state agencies by then governor Brereton Jones.  In late 1993, Mr. Lochmueller became Vice-President of Horizon Cellular until he was recruited to be an Area General Manager for startup Nextel Partners. In the early 2000s, Mr. Lochmueller served as Regional Vice President for Leap Wireless, a spin-off of Qualcomm. Mr. Lochmueller is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a BGS degree.

Mr. Ammon, age 50, has been the Company’s Chief Operating Officer since April 29, 2010, having initially served as a consultant beginning in February 2010.  From 2005 until his appointment with the Company, Mr. Ammon owned and operated PWE Inc., a consulting firm focused on business and project budget development, project management, and business systems process redefinition and implementation.  Before PWE, Mr. Ammon spent seven years as Director of Business Operations for Nextel Partners, Inc.  Mr. Ammon received his B.A. in Accounting from Gustavus Adolphus College.

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