Appointments

GCX’s Jim Fagan to replace Nigel Bayliff as Aqua Comms CEO

Nigel Bayliff NEW.jpg

Nigel Bayliff is to leave Aqua Comms at the end of April, to be replaced as CEO by Jim Fagan, currently chief strategy and revenue officer at Global Cloud Exchange (GCX).

In a statement this morning, Aqua Comms, which is owned by Digital 9 Infrastructure (D9), said Fagan would “lead the next stage of growth of the business”.

Capacity understands that there is no disagreement between Bayliff (pictured) and either Aqua Comms or its owner – something that is supported by the fact he will continue to lead the company for more than four months from now.

Alan Harper, chairman of Aqua Comms, said: “Jim is a transformative and proven technology executive with 25 years of experience in telecom and IT spanning private and public companies across the US, Asia Pacific and EMEA.”

Fagan had been with GCX since 2020, after Carl Grivner had been appointed CEO to lead the company’s reconstruction. Fagan and Grivner had worked together at Pacnet in 2012-15, Fagan as president of managed services and Grivner as CEO. Fagan went on to work for Telstra after it bought Pacnet,

Capacity understands from people in a position to know that Bayliff is likely to move to another role in the industry, though one that is not competitive with Aqua Comms.

His decision to depart is not connected, Capacity understands, with the departure in late November of Thor Johnsen and Andre Karihaloo from their roles at D9. They were head of digital infrastructure and investment director at Triple Point, the investment manager for D9.

Capacity understands from sources in the infrastructure industry that they are now working on early-stage digital investments – with different needs from well-established infrastructure investments, which Aqua Comms has become.

“In hindsight the investors are very different,” said someone in a position to know this morning.

Triple Point said last week that the D9 Infrastructure team is now led by Ben Beaton, who has been with the group for 15 years. The investment director is Arnaud Jaguin, who joined Triple Point in January 2021 and has worked in telecoms M&A at UBS Investment Bank. He was later at Level 3 Communications and CenturyLink – now Lumen – in corporate strategy and spent a year at RETN.

Back at Aqua Comms, Harper said in his statement this morning: “There will be a seamless handover from current CEO Nigel Bayliff who leaves the business on 30 April 2023.”

He added: “Nigel has achieved great success turning [Aqua Comms] into a customer focused and profitable business with an enviable industry reputation. I thank Nigel for his enormous contribution to the success of Aqua Comms and wish him well on his next move in the industry.”

Capacity understands that Aqua Comms has picked Fagan to lead it as it builds up its commercial offering, especially in the Asian market. “Jim has a fantastic network [of contacts] in Asia,” said one who knows him well.