New CEO at Zayo

October 23rd, 2020 by · 13 Comments

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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Categories: Jobs · Metro fiber

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13 Comments So Far


  • Karma Biotch says:

    Great time to do some Soul Searching.

  • Anonymous says:

    Dan built a great company, it will be interesting to see what happens in the next chapter.

    • John P. says:

      Sometimes the person who builds a company is not the right person to take it to the next level. This is the case with Caruso as the company had grown tired of his constant changes in philosophy and direction. Zayo now needs a people person to restore morale and most importantly, to focus on customer satisfaction, which clearly was not Zayo’s priority under Caruso the last few years.

  • Richard Price says:

    Finally, now maybe Zayo can rise and thrive. Dan was sinking the ship.

  • Anonymous says:

    And Jack Waters is out too.

  • I hope in this chapter, they get channel friendly and take all the friction out of their sales process.

    • John P. says:

      If they would just leave their sales people in place instead of rotating them all the time so that none of them know who their customers are, that would be a big help. Dan Caruso had a very short attention span it seems, because the changes he kept making drove his customers, and I’m sure his employees crazy. The same could be said for their service delivery team- they seemed to take great pleasure in running the few good ones they had off.

  • Anon says:

    Dan’s resignation letter to his fans was classic Dan. No thanks or recognition for any Zayo employee, investor or others in the orbit, only to himself. He even seemed to take some responsibility for appointing Steve Smith as CEO. Wild.

  • Michael J. says:

    What a breath of fresh air Steve Smith has been at Zayo. Within a couple of weeks he acknowledges the biggest problem with the company which is the fact that Zayo seems to hate their customers and doesn’t value them at all. Steve is working to change the culture and he has a lot of work ahead of him because Dan Caruso couldn’t stand customers and that attitude has filtered down to many employees. I’m impressed by Steve’s openness in acknowledging the problems with Zayo right out of the gate and his solemn promise to fix it. Those of us who value customers and (hark!) want to keep them are so happy that Steve is running Zayo now.

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