Well, it didn’t take too long for Integra to make up its mind about who will lead the company after Tom Casey left for Tronox two months ago. Kevin O’Hara, who has been serving as executive chairman since then has now been formally named Chief Executive Officer.
O’Hara, of course, was Level 3’s COO and President up until 2008, when the company was tripped up by the simultaneous integration of a half dozen metro fiber assets and two longhaul backbones. His strong preference for owning and operating fiber rather than leasing from the incumbent has been increasingly visible since he joined Integra’s board a while back. It’s nice to see him back in the saddle once again.
Integra’s $50M buildout aimed at taking better advantage of the company’s fiber assets had his fingerprints from the beginning. Those assets derive mostly from the Electric Lightwave purchase, spanning the mountainous west with enough metro density to total over 1,700 on-net buildings now. Most of the company’s $600M+ revenues still derive from the traditional CLEC model of course.
That combination of fiber assets and revenue scale mean that the company has been a frequent target of M&A speculation over the past year or two, and that probably won’t change as there are a half dozen potential buyers for whom there is a nice strategic fit. However, with O’Hara at the helm I wonder if Integra might become more acquisitive itself.