FF thanks for the good wishes. Same to you & fam. We're flying to Espana for holy week - biz also now that two kids are gainfully employed. Hope plague is under control by then.
I trust JS 80% and would grade him a B-/C+. Doing some right things as GM but my to do list for him:
1) Set realistic but challenging public revenue goals at the risk of missing and getting fired - he, we, the market everyone wants FFing rev targets. The lynch pin. I mean come on what operating company does not have a rev target. What happens when there's no rev target for the CEO? You can't miss if you don't have a target. And also u trade at 5x EV/EBITDA. Down the line - who will kill themselves to grow the business when the CEO gets a pass.
They can refinance - everyone knows already. Great fiber/fiber future etc - everyone knows. The question is what can CTL do with this gold plated network.
2) Improve senior team. Hire new senior product/sales managers, for ex 2 senior managers tasked with turning around SMB at INTERNET rather than telco speed. Managers need to BE low latency. Look at what Legere has done. The guys at S under Masa were working night and day to turn that disaster around. S went from $2 to $9 with a much worse hand than CTL. Only one SMB manager will be really good so hire two. Fire someone senior. Anyone other than Post canned? And they kept him on as BOD. Seniors a little too smug/comfortable... whereas staff/mid-management are subject to "synergy. There needs to be heat at the top.
3) Align organization & resources with tech goal - you only need one finance guy and one regulatory/legal guy on the BOD WTF. You need some real tech smart guys. Connect 5000-10000 LESS buildings at a lousy 10-15 year payback. Hire a guy from Goog/FB/Amzn. Give him that cash saved, let him build a team, develop/buy new products. You are already connected to 90+% of the buildings. Stop capexing there. Increase FFing utilization/sales in those buildings. Treat that capex like it's your FFing own money.
4) Explain what's going on simply & clearly. We already know there are declining and growing components. Any business can be explained. Distill this "complexity" into simple goals and measures normal people can understand and monitor. Debt/Ebitda is not an operational measure of FFing performance. Total FCF, yes but stick your neck out and explain to us how it's sustainable - revenue/big components. Stop with this FFing word smithing ("i am comfortable with the analysis behind the sustainability of the payout ratio"), it's worse than the fed.
Hehe. Sorry. I've been on a rampage all week.