The former CEO of Interoute (one of Europe’s largest fibre networks), Gareth Williams, has today been appointed as the CEO of rural FTTP broadband ISP Gigaclear. Meanwhile the company’s Interim Chief Executive, Mike Surrey, will remain with the business until the end of March to ensure an orderly handover.
The hunt for a new CEO to replace Matthew Hare began last spring and came shortly after the M&G Investment Management fund had purchased the provider for £270 million (here). At the time Gigaclear had managed to grow their 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network to cover more than 65,000 premises in rural England and they hoped to reach 350,000 by 2021.
Unfortunately things didn’t go according to plan and by the end of 2018 it was becoming clear that a number of Gigaclear’s major Broadband Delivery UK contracts in Berkshire, Northamptonshire, Fastershire (Gloucestershire and Herefordshire), Devon and Somerset (here, here, here and here) where struggling to deliver (most of this occurred under Matthew’s watch).
Since then the ISP has been busy trying to correct for those problems, which is an on-going process and has already resulted in some significant delays. Part of that effort involved making changes to the executive team and this is one area where an experienced individual like Gareth may be able to help.
Gareth Williams, Chief Executive of Gigaclear, said:
“Gigaclear has established itself as a major player in digital transformation in the UK, carrying out ambitious but vital work in connecting underserved areas of the UK to high speed internet, and I’m pleased to be joining at this exciting time in its evolution.”
In support of this Gigaclear has also appointed Drew Ritchie as Chief Operating Officer and Nathan Rundle as Delivery Director. Drew joins from Affinity Water Ltd, where he was MD of Wholesale Operations, while Nathan joins from Openreach (BT), where he was Delivery Director for the South region.
Stephen Nelson, Asset Management Director of Infracapital (Gigaclear Owner), added:
“The appointment of someone of Gareth’s calibre clearly underlines the exciting opportunities for Gigaclear and we look forward to continuing our support for the business as it works to deliver full fibre broadband to rural Britain. On behalf of Infracapital I would like to thank Interim Chief Executive Mike Surrey for his invaluable support and we wish him all the best in the future.”
Under Gareth’s leadership, Interoute evolved into one of Europe’s largest Cloud Services platforms, with revenues growing from €188 million to €710 million, serving both Enterprise and ISP customers. Gareth left Interoute having led the sale of the company to GTT Communications Inc. for €2.3 billion. Prior to becoming Interoute CEO, Gareth was President of Global Sales at the company, having spent the previous 15 years in telecoms and IT.
Meanwhile locals in Devon and Somerset, among other counties, continue to wait for news of an agreement on the revised roll-out plan.