UK altnet Hyperoptic gets a new tech boss

Fixed-line industry veteran Duncan Macdonald has been poached from Liberty Global to become Hyperoptic’s CTIO.

The move is being framed by Hyperoptic as necessary to give the company the technical capability it needs to support what it describes as rapid customer growth. Macdonald will also look at introducing some of the latest network and systems technologies in what looks like a pretty broad technology strategy remit.

Macdonald arrives with 25 years of experience, primarily in European fixed-line networks. The last 16 have been spent with Liberty Global, most recently at Swiss operator Sunrise where he was CIO. Prior to that he worked at UPC Schweiz, managed consumer IT across a few Liberty Global European territories, and overhauled Virgin Media’s mobile IT stack.

“Duncan is committed to driving real business impact through the CTIO role, and he has the experience, expertise and attitude to push Hyperoptic to the next level of performance and efficiency,” said Hyperoptic CEO Dana Tobak (pictured above). “We continue to grow our network, our customer base and our profile, and Duncan will play an important role in supporting that growth as part of a very talented and experienced leadership team.”

“Hyperoptic is the most exciting company in the UK’s broadband space today, with a premium network, a proven business model delivering great commercial results, and a vastly experienced leadership team,” said Macdonald (pictured below). “This is a great opportunity for me to apply learnings from international operations to a focused, agile, fast-moving business that’s setting new standards in our sector.”

This appointment stands in contrast to the recent news of layoffs at the company. Those were framed as a strategic rationalisation towards regions with the best growth potential, so the messaging has been reasonably consistent. Hyperoptic currently has over 1.2 million homes passed but is aiming for two million. As you might expect from a challenger player, Hyperoptic is focusing on value and transparency as differentiators. It is presumably hoping to be able to pass on some of the efficiencies achieved by its new CTIO to its customers.


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