Qwest Communications, Inc. (NYSE: Q) said Monday that its chief executive officer will retire as soon he finds a successor, sending shares down 8 percent.
Richard Notebaert, who turned Qwest around when it was on the verge of bankruptcy, said on Monday that he will focus on his family and other commitments.
Shares dropped 81 cents, or 8 percent, to $9.36 at the end of regular trading hours.
Dick's leadership in the transformation of Qwest has exceeded all expectations. He will leave the company well positioned for future growth and truly will be missed, Frank P. Popoff, lead director on the Qwest Board.
Notebaert has been chairman and CEO of Qwest s for 5 years. He will give up his board position as well.
When he joined quest, the company had $26 billion debt following an accounting scandal and the bursting technology bubble. Notebaert helped reduce the companyâ€™s debt and trim 20 percent of the workforce.
Qwest said in the statement on Monday that it did not plan to change its business strategy as a result of Notebaert's retirement.
Notebaert is the third top Qwest executive to announce his retirement this year.
Chief Financial Officer Oren Shaffer retired in April , while executive Vice President Barry Allen, who oversees operations, will step down on June 29.