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Nick Read’s Transition: EXA Infrastructure’s Global Growth Journey

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Global fibre infrastructure firm EXA Infrastructure has unveiled the appointment of ex-Vodafone CEO Nick Read as company chairperson. EXA currently owns over 125,000km of fibre network spanning 34 countries and several major submarine cable systems, such as three transatlantic cables. EXA has experienced rapid growth since its inception in 2021 by I Squared Capital, acquiring various assets and forming strategic partnerships worldwide to strengthen its global portfolio.

This fast-paced environment will be a stark contrast for Nick Read, who resigned from his position at Vodafone due to pressure from investors to improve the Group’s underwhelming performance. During his four-year tenure, Read supported consolidation in the company’s most competitive markets, but most of these initiatives did not come to fruition. Vodafone’s share prices at the time of his resignation had nearly halved.

Read’s new position at EXA is expected to be conducive to growth, at least for now. He commented on his appointment: “It is a privilege to be appointed Chair of EXA Infrastructure, particularly at a pivotal time for the telecoms industry where we are seeing significant investment in digital infrastructure and market growth.”

EXA’s management expressed delight with Read’s appointment, stating that his leadership will guide the company’s “strategic network expansion plans, commercial growth, and ongoing operational excellence efforts.” Martijn Blanken, CEO of EXA Infrastructure, added, “Nick is a titan in our industry, and I am convinced that his extensive leadership and technology experience will be invaluable to execute our ambitious growth strategy.”

In recent developments, EXA Infrastructure announced the acquisition of Croatian telco Unitel, extending their infrastructure footprint in the Balkans. Unitel possesses a 515km fibre backbone network that stretches across the country, with border crossings to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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