WorldCom to adopt MCI name

WorldCom Inc.'s journey back from the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history will lead the giant telecommunications carrier to a new brand name, a new headquarters and a new chief financial officer, the company said Monday.

WorldCom will drop its newsworthy moniker for the brand name of its long-distance business, MCI, and relocate its headquarters to Ashburn, Virginia, from Clinton, Mississippi. Its wholesale telecommunications services business will carry the brand UUNet under the MCI name. Also Monday, the company appointed Robert Blakely as executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), according to a company statement.

The moves came with the filing Monday of the company's proposed Plan of Reorganization with creditors and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Representatives of the company's senior noteholder groups have agreed on the economic terms of the proposed plan, the company said. They represent a majority of WorldCom's Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors that hold 90 percent of the dollar value of claims in the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.

WorldCom filed for bankruptcy protection last July after admitting it had overstated its earnings over the last three years by about US$7 billion.

WorldCom said Monday it would file a disclosure statement and would request a hearing by the court on May 19 to determine the adequacy of the statement and procedures to solicit votes in favor of the plan.

The company met its own deadline for filing the reorganization plan and hopes to emerge from bankruptcy before the end of this year, according to a statement attributed to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Capellas. Capellas, the former Compaq and Hewlett-Packard Co. executive who took over WorldCom in November, announced in January a 100-day plan to conclude with Monday's filing.

Blakely, the new CFO, has served as a top financial executive of Tenneco Inc. and Lyondell Chemical Co. and as managing director of Morgan Stanley, and recently completed a four-year appointment on the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council, which advises the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

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