Arctic Ocean subsea project appoints telecoms veteran as CEO

14 August 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Quintillion, the company nearing completion of a subsea cable around Alaska, has appointed a new CEO following the sudden resignation of Elizabeth Pierce.

Quintillion AlaskaThe new CEO is George Tronsrue, who worked for a number of telecoms companies in the 1980s and 1990s, including E.spire, MCI, MFS, Monet Mobile, Teleport and XO Communications. Since then he has run a strategic advisory company, Jericho Fund, and a public sector consultancy, MFSI.

Adam Murphy, managing director of Cooper Investment Partners, the lead investor in the privately funded Quintillion project, said: "We are excited about bringing on Mr Tronsrue to lead us to completion of Phase I this summer, delivering on the promise of bringing high speed internet capacity to these Alaskan Arctic communities by Q4, 2017."

Quintillion’s first phase includes a subsea cable around the Arctic coast of Alaska from Nome to Prudhoe Bay and a terrestrial link from Prudhoe Bay to Fairbanks, where it joins existing fibre networks.

Phase two is due to run westwards from Nome to Tokyo and phase three is planned to run through the North-west Passage across northern Canada, and then across the Atlantic to the UK.

No explanation has been given for Pierce’s resignation, except that Quintillion cited "personal reasons". Her LinkedIn profile has been amended to show that she has ceased to be CEO of Quintillion Networks and of Quintillion Subsea Operations, and now reads "semi-retired".

Before joining Quintillion in late 2013 she was director of risk management at Alaska Communication Services, which is a partner in the subsea cable project.

Meanwhile, the first phase of the project is nearing completion. Quintillion said that the cable-laying vessel Ile de Batz and several support vessels are installing the remaining cable off the northern coast of Alaska.

"Installation will be completed later this summer," said the company, and the system is scheduled to go live by 1 December.

Topics: Quintillion, Alaska, Arctic, Canada, Tronsrue, Cooper Investment, subsea, Japan, UK