Sprint's Payne resigns

Jim Payne, former assistant vice president for FTS 2001 at Sprint Government Systems Division, today resigned from the company to pursue a job at another telecommunications firm.

Paget Alves, president of sales and sales support for Sprint Business, praised Payne's leadership on the company's FTS 2000 contract with the General Services Administration and the follow-on, FTS 2001, awarded late last year.

"Jim played a significant role this year in obtaining Sprint FTS 2001 business, which today now totals just over half of the estimated available FTS 2001 business," Alves said. "He will be missed, but we wish him well."

Sources said Payne was leaving to take a job with Qwest Communications International Inc., but neither Qwest nor Sprint would confirm the report. Payne was unavailable for comment, a Sprint spokesman said.

Payne's resignation follows that of his former boss, Don Teague, who served as vice president and general manager at the division. Teague left the company in June.

Sprint's FTS 2001 customers expressed bewilderment over the departure of two of the leaders of the company's federal government sales operation following its win of one of two FTS 2001 contracts late last year. Bob Bubniak, associate deputy assistant secretary for telecommunications at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said he was concerned about Payne's resignation at a time when the VA and other agencies were preparing to transition their operations to Sprint's FTS 2001 network.

"I guess you might say I'm concerned any time a major player within our vendor of choice decides to leave," Bubniak said in reference to Payne's resignation. "I hope they will be able to successfully fill his position."

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