In a move that took many by surprise, longtime Level 3 Communications CTO Jack Waters has left that position to join Zayo Communications as its CTO and president of network solutions.
Andrew Dugan, group VP for network architecture, will be interim head of Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT)'s Global Technology and IT Organization, while the company looks for Waters's permanent replacement.
Waters leaves one organization known for building a global fiber-optic network organically and by acquisition to join another. In the process, he rejoins Dan Caruso, Zayo Group Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO)'s chairman and CEO. Caruso and Waters were with Level 3 at its creation in 1997, but while Waters has remained there for his 18-year tenure, Caruso left after seven.
In announcing Waters's move, Zayo officials also pointed to his familiarity with many of its global customers as a strong selling point. Zayo and Level 3 both serve the carrier markets as well as enterprises.
Waters steps into his new role in mid-August.
Dugan has been with Level 3 since 1998 and served as Waters's right-hand man in recent years. In a statement, Level 3 called Dugan "a strong leader with extensive experience in the communications industry."
Zayo now has a 96,600 route mile fiber optic network in North America, and much of that is dark fiber being sold to wireless carriers for mobile backhaul but also to other carriers, content providers, enterprises and the public sector as well. Like many operators, Zayo is also looking to connect more data centers, as part of the content and cloud services business growth.
Level 3 in recent years has been moving into enterprise services more aggressively, with its on-demand service offerings and managed services in areas such as security.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading