Cityfibre has today appointed a former partner at global investment firm Goldman Sachs, Simon Holden, to become its first Group Chief Operating Officer, reporting directly to the CEO, Greg Mesch. Holden will help the operator to roll-out their new 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network in the UK.
At present the operator is in the process of creating a £2.5bn private investment to help it cover around 1 million UK homes and businesses by the end of 2021 via 10 cities (phase one – expected cost of c.£500m), which will then rise to 5 million premises across 37 cities and towns by the end of 2024 (here). Generally the operator is aiming to cover roughly 85%+ of premises in each of the urban locations they target.
The huge investment has required Cityfibre to scale-up their operation and they’re in the process of recruiting 5,000 engineers. Naturally such a large investment will benefit from having people with experience of operating at that level, which sounds like a good fit for Simon Holden.
Simon was previously a partner at Goldman Sachs where he spent 18 years in London and New York, while holding various senior roles in the Investment Banking division including Global Chief Operating Officer and Vice-Chairman EMEA, as well as a number of leadership roles in the Telecom, Media and Technology banking team. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Simon worked for Baring Brothers in London and Hong Kong.
Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre, said:
“The Board and executive team are delighted to have appointed Simon as our new Group Chief Operating Officer. His telecoms expertise coupled with the breadth of his business experience will prove invaluable at this transformative stage in CityFibre’s growth as we scale our business to reach at least 20% of the UK market.”
Simon Holden added:
“This is a pivotal moment for the UK fibre market. As a service-based economy, the UK is reliant on the internet and ensuring access to the finest digital infrastructure possible is critical to its ability to compete and succeed on the world stage. I’m thrilled to join the CityFibre team at such an exciting time and look forward to helping it cement a position of scale in the UK.”
Cityfibre, which are being supported by major UK ISP partner Vodafone, is currently still in the early stages of ramping-up their deployment and has so far completed a build to around 25,000+ premises.