Brent Whittington was a hugely important part of Windstream Communications.
As chief operating officer, his pay was second only to that of the CEO's—roughly $1 million cash in 2013, plus $1.7 million worth of stock. And because of the extensive traveling the COO job requires, the company gave him more access to Windstream aircraft for personal use than it did other top executives.
Yet when Whittington leaves the company effective Monday, as was announced earlier this month, Windstream won't replace him. With the move, the cloud computing and internet service provider has become the latest in a long line of companies to ax the COO job.