January 28, 2022

Vision Cim

Thank Business Its Friday

Nitel Founders Move to Board Observers Post-Private Equity Investment

Nitel founders Rick Stern and Ron Grason have vacated their leadership roles two months after announcing a private equity investment.

Stern, the former CEO, and Grason, formerly president, have moved to board observer roles at the technology services provider. According to a news release, they remain “investors in the business.”

Shaw, Margi_Nitel

Nitel’s Margi Shaw

Margi Shaw has moved from chief operating officer to CEO. The company also promoted Mikail Shomade to chief operating officer and Mark Dickey to chief revenue officer.

Nitel announced its partnership with London-based private equity firm Cinven in November.

“Now, with the additional firepower of Cinven and an elite leadership team at the helm, we are poised to more tightly align with the needs of customers through growth and expansion,” Shaw said.

Shaw joined the Chicago-based company in 2020. Her past employers include Comcast Business, where she led engineering operations, and Illinois-based First Communications, where she was  president for six years.

Dickey, Mark_Nitel

Nitel’s Mark Dickey

Shomade, Mikail_Nitel

Nitel’s Mikail Shomade

Shomade, an alumnus of Cbeyond, Birch and Everstream, joined Nitel in 2018. He previously was chief business officer. He drove customer experience for the provider, helping lead the creation of a customer portal and operations support system.

Dickey had been working as Nitel’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. He moved from Oracle to Nitel in 2020. He will build Nitel sales by increasing marketing and “augmenting efforts in both the partner channel and Nitel’s wholesale business.”

Moving Forward

Cinven and Nitel leaders have indicated that they will deepen the company’s technology platform and pursue additional acquisitions. Nitel has found traction in managed WAN services, SD-WAN and cybersecurity, but will be exploring new technologies and more international customers, the company said.

“With this team in place, we have the leadership and expertise we need to fuel our growth,” Shaw said. “We’re excited to leverage a strong core business to expand our addressable market globally through a wider scope of services. And with a continued focus on the customer experience, customers looking to capitalize on the cloud and the partners who advise them all stand to benefit greatly.”

Nitel’s Ron Grason

Nitel’s Rick Stern

Stern and Grason launched Nitel in 2003. They told Channel Futures in November that Cinven chose Nitel in part because it values “founder-run” companies.

“They seemed to understand our model and the value of our model more than the other bidders, and we felt that they would be an excellent partner in the way that they were going to keep the business whole as it is and continue on as Nitel,” Stern said.