The drama of the last two years over at Zayo has led a change in leadership. After a 13 year run as CEO, Dan Caruso is stepping back into a director role, passing the baton to the company’s new leader: Steve Smith.
Steve Smith was of course CEO over at Equinix for about a decade from 2007-2018, and has most recently been a managing director at GI Partners. He will have some big shoes to fill, taking over from the man who shouldered the biggest part of the reinvention of the metro fiber business after the dot com crash.
Under Dan’s tenure, Zayo came from nowhere to roll up a substantial chunk of the industry in a steady diet of three or four dozen acquisitions. He took the company into wireless backhaul before it was sexy and has been the first to successfully re-make the case for new longhaul fiber buildouts. Zayo today operates some 133,000 route miles of fiber in 400 markets across North America and Europe. The company most recently announced the sale of its zColo division to DataBank.
Today’s Zayo is newly private and owned by the two infrastructure firms EQT and Digital Colony. It will be interesting to watch what direction Steve takes the company. Will they return to the M&A table again? It’s not as if Equinix wasn’t acquisitive under his tenure, after all. Or is the next phase about operating the current infrastructure more effectively? We shall see.
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