Google Fiber Taps New Leader Amid Restructuring

Google Fiber and the Access unit of parent company Alphabet has a new CEO, who is coming on board amid the move to a more decentralized structure that will affect hundreds of employees while enabling the division to remain committed to its current batch of cities and push into a small group of new ones.  

On the leadership front, Alphabet has tapped Gregory McCray as CEO of its Access division, which includes operations of Google Fiber, which is building out FTTP networks that support gigabit broadband, voice and TV services.

McCray, who has been serving as CEO of Aero Communications and on the board of CenturyLink, takes over in the role previously held by Craig Barratt, who has since resigned that post and was recently named CEO of Barefoot Networks, a maker of fast, programmable Ethernet switch chips that counts Google among its financial backers. Late last year, The Information reported that CenturyLink was a “potential acquirer” of Google Fiber.

RELATED: Building Fiber Networks: Difficult and Lame?

“Google Fiber has been instrumental making the web faster and better for everyone — something I’ve been passionate about my entire career,” McCray said, in a statement. “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.”

McCray heads up Access following a recent decision to pause Google Fiber’s expansion plans as it concentrated on current deployments and explored less expensive wireless broadband alternatives.  

 RELATED: Google Fiber Pauses Expansion Plans, Laying Off Some Staff

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

The Google Fiber team is moving to a more decentralized structure that will allow for more innovation to come from the field, but a move that will also result in hundreds of employees shifting into new roles in Google and Alphabet, a person familiar with the matter said, confirming a story first reported by Bloomberg.

The new structure, the person added, will likewise mean that Access will look a bit more like a startup again, with a focus on innovations designed to improve business results and service velocity.

Google Fiber, the person added, will also look to serve existing subscribers and add new ones in the current cities, and is now in position to push ahead with previous plans to enter new cities such as Huntsville, Ala.; Louisville, Ky., and San Antonio, Texas.

RELATED: Google Fiber to Ride Muni-Owned Huntsville Network

Cities still on Google Fiber’s list for “potential” build outs include Dallas, Texas; Jacksonville, Fla.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Phoenix, Ariz.; San Jose, Calif., Tampa, Fla.; and Portland, Ore.  

Cities supported by Webpass, the wireless broadband company acquired last fall by Google Fiber, include Boston; Chicago; Miami, San Diego, San Francisco, and Oakland.