Zayo Group, a company operating a 133,000-mile network in North America and Europe including extensive metro connectivity to thousands of buildings and data centers, has appointed Steve Smith as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). As CEO of Equinix for over 10 years, Mr. Smith helped Equinix grow its revenue from $400 million to $4.4 billion across 200 data centers, in 52 markets, serving over 10,000 customers.
Smith has over 30 years of expertise as a global leader of tech companies. Most recently, Steve Smith was Managing Director of private equity firm GI Partners. He has had board of director and senior executive roles at several additional tech companies, including F5 Networks, Hewlett-Packard, EDS, NetApp and NEXTDC. Zayo founder and former CEO Dan Caruso will transition to the position of Board Director.
“I’m excited to join Zayo as it begins its journey as a private company backed by two of the world’s largest infrastructure investors,” said Steve Smith. “Dan and I have known one another and partnered together as Zayo and Equinix emerged as the global leaders in their respective digital infrastructure segments.”
“I am pleased to hand the Zayo baton to Steve, who I respect and have enjoyed working with over the years,” said Dan Caruso. “I am proud of what Zayo has accomplished since its launch in 2007. Under Steve’s stewardship, I’m certain Zayo will solidify its position as the world’s leading provider of bandwidth connectivity.” Mr. Caruso will support Smith as he transitions to CEO.
Digital Colony Partners, EQT Infrastructure IV
Zayo was acquired by affiliates of Digital Colony Partners and the EQT Infrastructure IV fund. Before going public in 2014, Zayo’s original private equity investors funded the company with just over $1 billion of equity. That equity would now be worth over $8 billion.
“Steve’s track record successfully managing growing digital infrastructure businesses while maintaining high levels of operational reliability and excellence is the perfect fit for Zayo as it enters the next phase of its growth,” said Marc Ganzi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Colony Capital (NYSE: CLNY) and CEO of Digital Colony. “Steve will have big shoes to fill. Dan built an amazing company in just over a decade and we look forward to benefiting from his contributions as a key member of our Board of Directors.”
Founded in 2007, Zayo Group has grown through both organic investment and 45 acquisitions to become a leading independent provider of communications infrastructure. With deep, dense metro and long haul networks across the U.S., Canada and Western Europe, Zayo serves many of the largest and most innovative companies in the world.
“Dan has built and developed Zayo from a startup into one of the defining companies of the digital transformation,” said Jan Vesely, Partner at EQT Partners. “and we are proud to continue working with Dan and Zayo on our ambitious growth plans for the company. Since closing the transaction our confidence in the critical role Zayo plays in the digital infrastructure landscape has only grown. Steve, as a proven leader with unmatched operational and leadership experience in the industry, is ideally situated to lead the company as it continues to identify opportunities to enhance and expand its essential service offerings and connectivity solutions.”