Datagrid has appointed Perrine Dhalluin as its new CEO.

Announced this week, she replaces Ludovic Hutier. According to his LinkedIn, Hutier remains the CEO of BW Digital, the subsea cable unit of BW Group.

Perrine Dhalluin Datagrid
– Datagrid

She was previously CEO at Pacific Islands telecoms firm Intelia, leaving that role in November 2022. She has also held positions at Nokia and Ericsson. Last year, she joined BW Digital as chief network officer.

“Datagrid New Zealand data center is going to be a great asset for Southland, taking advantage of renewable energy abundance and natural climate conditions that will make Datagrid the most competitive data storage solution in Oceania. It’s definitely a great challenge for the team and for myself, and we are excited and fully committed to making this project happen,” Dhalluin said.

Rémi Galasso, founder of Datagrid, added: “Perrine Dhalluin and I have been working together at Intelia for the past 10 years, she is a natural leader and I am very happy she has accepted to lead Datagrid New Zealand.”

First announced in December 2020, Datagrid – founded by Hawaiki Cable’s Galasso alongside Callplus Ltd founder Malcolm Dick – aims to develop a large data center on New Zealand’s South Island.

Partnering with Meridian Energy, the facility will be the first hyperscale data center in the area. The facility will draw energy from the Manapouri hydropower scheme, which is due to have a large surplus once the Rio Tinto aluminum smelting facility at Tiwai Point closes in 2024. The University of Otago is set to be an anchor tenant of the facility.

Datagrid bought a 43-hectare site in January 2022. The company aims to build up to ten 6,500 sq m (70,000 sq ft) 10MW modules totaling 65,000 sqm.

BW Group acquired Hawaiki in May 2022, with Galasso taking on the role of CEO for BW Digital. Galasso left BW in January 2023, with Hutier taking over the unit.

BW Digital owns and operates the Hawaiki and upcoming Hawaiki Nui cables. Galasso remains chairman of Intelia, which he founded in 2006.