Zayo: Zayo hires Steve Smith as CEO, Caruso steps down

Oct 23, 2020 | Posted by Eric Bell

Steve Smith, who left Equinix in 2018, will join Zayo as CEO.

Dan Caruso, who has lead Zayo since its founding in 2007 will remain on Zayo's board.

Zayo Press Release on Oct 22nd:
BOULDER, Colo--Zayo Group Holdings, Inc., the global leader in Communications Infrastructure, announced today the appointment of Steve Smith as Chief Executive Officer. Digital Colony and EQT selected Smith to lead Zayo based on his proven track record scaling digital infrastructure companies into leading global providers in their respective markets.

“I’m excited to join Zayo as it begins its journey as a private company backed by two of the world’s largest infrastructure investors,” said Smith. “Dan and I have known one another and partnered together as Zayo and Equinix emerged as the global leaders in their respective digital infrastructure segments.”

“I am pleased to hand the Zayo baton to Steve, who I respect and have enjoyed working with over the years,” added Dan Caruso. “I am proud of what Zayo has accomplished since its launch in 2007. Under Steve’s stewardship, I’m certain Zayo will solidify its position as the world’s leading provider of bandwidth connectivity.” Caruso will support Smith as he transitions to CEO and will continue at Zayo as a Board Director.

Smith has over 30 years of expertise as a global leader of tech companies. He is a West Point graduate and an 8-year Army veteran. Smith was recently a Managing Director of the Private Equity firm GI Partners. While CEO of Equinix for over 10 years, Smith grew the Equity Value by 17X, from $2 billion to $34 billion, while growing Equinix revenue from $400 million to $4.4 billion across 200 data centers, in 52 markets, serving over 10,000 customers. Smith has had board of director and senior executive roles at several additional tech companies, including F5 Networks, Hewlett-Packard, EDS, NetApp and NEXTDC.

“Steve’s track record successfully managing growing digital infrastructure businesses while maintaining high levels of operational reliability and excellence is the perfect fit for Zayo as it enters the next phase of its growth,” said Marc Ganzi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Colony Capital, Inc. (NYSE: CLNY) and CEO of Digital Colony. “Steve will have big shoes to fill. Dan built an amazing company in just over a decade and we look forward to benefiting from his contributions as a key member of our Board of Directors.”

“Dan has built and developed Zayo from a startup into one of the defining companies of the digital transformation,” added Jan Vesely, Partner at EQT Partners, “and we are proud to continue working with Dan and Zayo on our ambitious growth plans for the company. Since closing the transaction our confidence in the critical role Zayo plays in the digital infrastructure landscape has only grown. Steve, as a proven leader with unmatched operational and leadership experience in the industry, is ideally situated to lead the Company as it continues to identify opportunities to enhance and expand its essential service offerings and connectivity solutions.”

Bavto_righthouse at Nov 03, 2020

"Speaking with BizWest this week, Smith said he’s expecting to take the next 90 days to settle in and learn the businesses within the Boulder-based company while living more than 1,200 miles away.

He lives near Stanford University and will work remotely through the rest of the pandemic and his daughter’s wedding next spring before moving to Boulder in the mid-to-late summer of 2021."