Exa Infrastructure has confirmed that former Vodafone chief executive Nick Read will lead the business with immediate effect.

Read, who was appointed chairman of Exa Infrastructure in June, will replace Martijn Blanken as chief executive on an interim basis.

Blanken will advise Read and the Exa board through the end of the year as part of the transition.

Nick Read
– Vodafone Group

“Across our business, we are driving customer-focused innovation and capitalizing on growth opportunities driven by cloud, content, and AI," Read said.

"We thank Martijn for his contribution in positioning Exa as a leader in the data center-to-date center fiber industry. We wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Blanken was CEO of Exa Infrastructure since September 2021, joining from the company's main investor I Squared Capital.

He has previously worked at Telstra, KPN, and Boston Consulting Group, and as a non-executive for the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and Australia-Japan Cable.

Read joined Exa six months after he departed Vodafone.

He left the operator at the end of last year, following a difficult period for the operator which saw its share prices struggle, while management at the company faced backlash from investors.

Read spent four years at the helm of Vodafone, and has worked in the telecoms industry for over 20 years.

Exa's network spans over 125,000km across 34 countries, and operates with more than 500 optical PoPs, with extending routes throughout Europe and North America, crossing the Atlantic via three wholly owned and operated subsea cables.

The company was formed out of European, subsea, and North American network infrastructure and data center assets previously owned by GTT and snapped up by I Squared Capital in September 2021.