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Sources: Werner Joins Liberty

Former AT&T Broadband chief technical officer Tony Werner has been reunited with John Malone, joining Liberty Media Group in a role yet to be disclosed, sources familiar with the situation said last week.

A Liberty employee on Friday said Werner would return to the company's Englewood, Colo., office early next week. Liberty has also set-up a voice-mail account for Werner.

Werner was not immediately available for comment. Liberty Media and Qwest officials declined comment.

It was unclear by press time Friday what Werner's new role at Liberty will be, or for which company division he will work. Liberty's business units include Liberty Digital Inc. and Liberty Livewire, among others. One industry observer speculated that Werner could aid Liberty with its massive cable operations in Europe.

Werner joins Liberty after just two months as executive vice president of strategic technology at Denver-based Qwest Communications International Inc., overseeing the telco's physical plant and reassembling those assets into a more cohesive unit of voice, video and data technology.

It was also believed by some industry followers that Werner's cable experience could help Qwest in future moves involving very high-speed digital subscriber line (VDSL) technology, which enables telcos to offer digital-video services over copper lines. So far, Qwest has not publicly committed VDSL efforts beyond existing deployments in Phoenix and the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Prior to Qwest, Werner served for six months as CEO of Aurora Networks, an optical start-up headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. At Aurora, Werner toggled back and forth between Aurora's California headquarters and its Denver office.

Before that, Werner served as chief technical officer of AT&T Broadband and Tele-Communications Inc., working closely with current Liberty chief Malone.

Greg Braden, who joined AT&T Broadband following its merger with MediaOne Group Inc., succeeded Werner last October.