Former Vodafone CEO Nick Read finds new home at EXA Infrastructure


Read will serve as EXA’s new chairman, aiming to deliver significant growth for the business and expand its global infrastructure portfolio

Today, global fibre infrastructure firm EXA Infrastructure has announced that ex-Vodafone CEO Nick Read will be taking on the role of company chairman.

EXA currently owns 125,000km of fibre network across 34 countries, as well as a number of major submarine cable systems, including a trio of transatlantic cables. Since its formation from the backbone assets of GTT bac in 2021 by I Squared Capital, the company has been expanding rapidly, making numerous acquisitions and strategic partnerships around the world to bolster its global portfolio.

This rapid growth environment will be something of a stark contrast for Read, who resigned from his position as CEO of Vodafone at the end of last year after facing increasing pressure from investors to improve the Group’s sluggish performance. He had served in the role for four years, during which time he championed consolidation in the company’s most competitive markets, the majority of which did not ultimately materialise.

At the time of his resignation, Vodafone’s share prices had almost halved.

In this new position, however, Read should find growth comes much easier – at least for now.

“It is a privilege to be appointed Chair of EXA Infrastructure, particularly at a pivotal time for the telecoms industry where we are seeing significant investment in digital infrastructure and market growth,” said Read. “I look forward to working with the EXA leadership team who have a clear focus and commitment to customers, network excellence and continual investment to provide the most compelling experiences to clients and end users.”

EXA’s management was jubilant at the appointment, saying that Read would help lead the company’s “strategic network expansion plans, commercial growth and ongoing operational excellence efforts”

“Nick is a titan in our industry and I am convinced that his extensive leadership and technology experience will be invaluable to execute our ambitious growth strategy,” said EXA Infrastructure, Chief Executive Officer, Martijn Blanken. “His track record in business performance and transformation will be a welcome addition to guide EXA’s executive team. I am delighted to see Nick join us and I look forward to working closely with him.”

In related news, last week EXA Infrastructure announced they had acquired Croatian telco Unitel, expanding their existing infrastructure footprint in the Balkans. Unitel owns a 515km fibre backbone network that spans the country, including border crossings to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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