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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, July 4, 2008

Komeiji new counsel at Hawaiian Telcom

By Rick Daysog
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

John Komeiji

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Rick Daysog analyzes and follows the business stories you want to know about. Online at wwww.honoluluadvertiser.com/Blogs

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Hawaiian Telcom has appointed prominent local attorney John Komeiji as its new general counsel.

Komeiji, who will also have the title of senior vice president at the local phone company, is a senior partner in the local law firm of Watanabe Ing & Komeiji LLP, where he has worked for the past 30 years.

The 54-year-old litigation attorney replaces Alan Oshima, who will remain a director at Hawaiian Telcom.

"I'm excited to join Hawaiian Telcom's management team and look forward to the challenge of keeping the company at the forefront of telecommunications," Komeiji said.

Komeiji's appointment comes as Hawaiian Telcom and its owner, Washington, D.C.-based The Carlyle Group, handed over the reins of the phone company to a local management team.

In May, Hawaiian Telcom named former Hawaiian Electric Co. executive Eric Yeaman as chief executive officer and First Hawaiian Bank chairman Walter Dods as its chairman.

Hawaiian Telcom also announced the appointments of Craig Inouye and Steven Golden to its senior management team.

Inouye, formerly a director at Sun Innovation Holding Ltd., will become senior vice president of sales. Golden, vice president for external affairs at The Gas Co., will become Hawaiian Telcom's vice president for external affairs.

Inouye and Golden previously worked at Hawaiian Telcom's predecessor, GTE Hawaiian Tel. All three appointments take effect this month.

"I am pleased to have people of this caliber join Hawaiian Telcom's management team," Yeaman said.

"They have the local knowledge and important expertise to move the company forward as we continue to focus on customer service and operations and bring to Hawaii the most cutting-edge telecommunications products and services."

Founded in 1883, Hawaiian Telcom is the state's largest telephone company, with 1,500 employees.

In 2005, The Carlyle Group acquired the company from Verizon Communications Inc. for $1.6 billion.

Since then, the company has struggled amid heated competition from wireless companies and other providers.

Hawaiian Telcom also faced a number of billing problems during its transition to a stand-alone company.

Reach Rick Daysog at rdaysog@honoluluadvertiser.com.