Google Fiber unit names new CEO, reiterates Charlotte commitment

The Alphabet Inc. unit that includes Google Fiber has named a new CEO, as the technology giant continues to reshape its efforts to deploy super-fast broadband networks in cities nationwide.Greg McCray, who most recently served as CEO of Aero Communications,...

Google Fiber unit names new CEO, reiterates Charlotte commitment

The Alphabet Inc. unit that includes Google Fiber has named a new CEO, as the technology giant continues to reshape its efforts to deploy super-fast broadband networks in cities nationwide.

Greg McCray, who most recently served as CEO of Aero Communications, replaces Craig Barratt, who abruptly stepped down in October as CEO of Google Access amid a slowdown in Google Fiber’s expansion plans.

At the time, Barratt said the company would continue building out networks in cities where work was already under way, such as Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham. But operations in the next phase of cities, such as Dallas and Portland, were put on hold. Google Fiber also cut 9 percent of its staff at that time.

Even as it named a new CEO, Google Access is trimming its workforce once again, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday, moving several hundred employees over to Alphabet’s main Google business.

“Google Fiber remains committed to our customers and cities,” a Google Fiber spokesperson said in a statement to the Observer Thursday. “We want to bring Google Fiber to customers faster, so we’re focused on making deployment more efficient and less intrusive. We’re thrilled that Greg has agreed to join as CEO, to drive this innovation and to grow the business.”

The spokesperson added that the company is “here to stay in Charlotte.”

McCray in a statement said Google Fiber has been “instrumental” in making the web faster.

“I’m thrilled to lead Access as we continue in our mission to connect more people to abundant access, on networks that are always fast and always open,” he said.

Since confirming plans to come to Charlotte in January 2015, Google Fiber has launched a massive construction project in the city, with plans to play thousands of miles of fiber. Competitors such as AT&T have also been upgrading their networks with much faster speeds.

Rick Rothacker: 704-358-5170, @rickrothacker

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