Shane Portfolio, former Charter and Comcast exec, joins Congruex as CTO

Cable industry vet Shane Portfolio has been tapped as CTO of Congruex, a network planning and construction specialist formed in 2017 that has been on an acquisition spree amid rising demand for fiber buildouts.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

June 21, 2024

3 Min Read
Shane Portfolio hedshot
Shane Portfolio has joined Congruex as CTO. (Source: Charter Communications)

Shane Portfolio, the cable industry vet who recently left Charter Communications, has been appointed chief technology officer at Congruex, a Boulder, Colorado-based company that engineers and builds wireline and wireless networks.

Portfolio, most recently the VP of network engineering at Charter and a former long-time exec at Comcast, is joining Conguex during a busy time.

Congruex, a company founded in 2017 that has worked with Tier 1s such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, has been helping to fill a gap in network construction that emerged amid operator expansion strategies alongside the surge in rural government subsidy programs, including phase I of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). On deck is the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program.

Leading company's 'transformation office'

As CTO, Portfolio said he will head up the groups leading engineering and IT. He'll also head up a "transformation office" focused on aligning the company in areas such as processes, priorities and goals. That priority, he said, is coming together as Congruex looks to transition from a "hyper-scale startup" to a larger, mature organization.

"We've now reached a point in our lifecycle where we've agreed that we need to move to the next level of a more integrated organization and to be able to help lead us to getting that done," said Portfolio, who officially joined Congruex on June 10.

This focus on turning Congruex into a more mature, integrated company arrives after a wave of acquisitions. Relatively recent acquisitions for Congruex include Southeast Utilities (Georgia), HHS Construction (southern California), Terra Technologies (Illinois), White Construction (Wisconsin) and True North Management Services, a St. Louis-based firm that works with wireless carriers, fiber companies and tower owners in parts of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Other Congruex acquisitions include Tower Engineering Solutions (a Dallas-based company focused on wireless tower infrastructure), Sorenson Companies (a fiber shallow-trenching specialist based in Utah), Ohio Valley Excavating and Schaumburg, Illinois-based Matrix Engineering.

Such deals are also helping Congruex to compete in a market of large construction companies such as MasTech, Dycom and Quanta Services.

As Congruex execs explained back in 2020, the company is using a mix of organic growth, M&A and a new, standardized back-office system to enable it to scale up and improve its underlying operations.

In 2022, Congruex formed Congruex Network Services (CNS), a team focused on designing and managing network infrastructure projects for clients nationwide. The move was also designed to help the company streamline partnerships within the company's operating units, including some of its recent acquisitions.

Wide range of projects

Portfolio believes he's joining Congruex at an opportune time in which companies, both large and small, are in need of partners to build out fiber networks for a wide range of projects, including government-subsidized builds along with organic edge-outs and network expansions. There are also opportunities to provide fiber connectivity to the growing data center market.

"From a tech perspective, it's exciting to be part of a growth engine," he said.

While it's clear that cable operators will continue to invest in their hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) networks, it's also clear that fiber has become central to network strategies, Portfolio explained.

"The future is that all companies, including the cable companies, will continue to prioritize the investment of deploying fiber to help achieve their business objectives," he said. "We really want to make sure we become one of the companies they look to for that." 

Congruex is backed by Crestview Partners, a New York-based firm that also holds investments in Digicomm International (a leading distributor of broadband products) and WideOpenWest (WOW), a midsized cable and fiber services operator. Crestview, whose leadership includes former Marcus Cable Chairman and CEO Jeff Marcus, recently teamed with DigitalBridge Investments on a proposal to take WOW private. Marcus is also on the board of WOW.

Congruex's leadership also has some linkages to Comcast, where Portfolio spent more than 20 years of his career. Rob Reynolds, Congruex's chief information officer, was with Comcast for 17 years, including in the role of VP of next-generation systems. John Schanz, the former chief network officer of Comcast, is a member of the Congruex board.

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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