In another leadership transition announced in this short week, XO has found itself a new chief executive officer. Industry veteran Christopher Ancell has been appointed CEO, and will join the company after Thanksgiving weekend runs its course (December 2).
Ancell has for the past year been SVP of sales and sales engineering at CoreSite, prior to which he held various executive roles at CenturyLink and Qwest — especially in the business markets side of things. That resume does sound like a match for further tuning XO’s current focus on the enterprise which jointly emphasizes both network and cloud services.
Ancell will replace current CEO Laura Thomas, who had taken the reins when Carl Grivner left. But Thomas will not be leaving the company, rather shifting back to her previous role as CFO.
Thomas’s two years at the helm oversaw some big changes at XO as the company restructured its approach to the market and slimmed itself down both in terms of products and headcount. But details of just how successful they’ve been at it have been hard to come by since Icahn took the company private.
Just where Ancell will take XO from here is an open question, and as always it depends mostly on Carl Icahn’s plans from here. Has Icahn brought Ancell in as a transformational figure, as a caretaker, or as a prelude to a sale? I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see this winter as Ancell takes over and puts his stamp on things.
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