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May 27, 2020
GTT has announced that its CEO, Rick Calder, will be stepping down next week, ending a 13-year run as the carrier's top executive.
During Calder's tenure, the company had a seemingly endless appetite for small to midsized telecom networks. KPN International, Interoute, Transbeam, Hibernia, Global Capacity and Perseus Telecom are a few of the names it has gobbled up since 2017.
With each purchase came more network assets, more clients and more revenue, so long as GTT could add more sales staff, keep new customers coming in and maintain its momentum. A couple of GTT's most recent acquisitions, however, were larger companies with more diverse assets and seemed to take a little longer to integrate. The debt piled up and the growth seemed to stall.
That's partly why the company announced it wanted to sell some of the pan-European fiber assets, subsea transatlantic fiber and data center infrastructure that it bought as part of its Interoute and Hibernia acquisitions. GTT said a few months ago it wanted to get back to focusing on networking, not infrastructure.
That networking business is arguably the one where GTT finds the broadest set of competitors. With SD-WAN becoming the new standard for enterprise networking, GTT's competitors and customers alike are also selling those services. That said, GTT's network, built over years of acquisitions, now has more than 600 points of presence and remains a strategic advantage.
Against this backdrop of a perpetual motion machine hitting a speed bump, Calder is heading for the door. The company's founder and executive chairman, H. Brian Thompson, said that an executive committee headed by CFO Steven Berns, who joined GTT last month, and Chief Revenue Officer Ernie Ortega will take on Calder's duties, while the company's all-star board searches for a new CEO.
[Editor's Note: It's an "all-star board" because it includes Julius "Dr. J" Erving. Surprisingly, for us, we weren't editorializing.]
The company did not respond to questions from Light Reading about Calder's departure.
– Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading
Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading
Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.
His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.
Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.
After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.
Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.
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