GCI completes assembly of Leadership Team


4 May 2016

Mike Ayres, previously Managing Director Business Markets (UK) at Easynet and later Senior Vice President Strategic Channel at Interoute, joins GCI as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). Also appointed to GCI’s Executive team is Phil Smith, previously with Colt, CGI and Capgemini. He joins as Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Commenting on the appointments, Adrian Thirkill, CEO at GCI stated, “I have worked with both Mike and Phil for many years at both Colt and Easynet and we achieved some great things together. They are talented, consistent and have the backbone to always push for better and see beyond ‘same old, same old’. Importantly, I also always remember our time together as good days – fun borne of success. I am delighted therefore that we have reformed a winning team. Mike and Phil join us a few short weeks after Mike Constantine joined GCI as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).”

Adrian Thirkill added, “We now have a full Exec team from CEO to CMO and it’s a capable blend of experienced new joiners and proven GCI seniors. Collectively, the leadership team shares the single vision of realising GCI’s full potential and supporting our people, customers, partners and alliances to the absolute best of our ability. More simply, we now have the right people on the bus and we’ll now pull together to keep GCI not only pointing in the right direction… but together we will accelerate its growth. Our announcement only last week regarding our acquisition of Fusion Media Networks is just one early indicator of that.”

Commenting on his appointment as GCI’s new CCO, Mike Ayres stated, “I am excited to be joining GCI at such a transformational time – and of course it’s nice too to be working again with old friends and colleagues who have experienced a lot together. Across the organisation we have a very good team at GCI, I can see that in the words I have been reading in the press and I can already feel it in the people I have met and chatted with during my early days with the business. I look forward to doing everything possible to provide strong support to my team and a great service to our customers. And, through the discipline of collaboration and partnership – and the traditional values of decency, honesty and integrity – I hope to earn the trust and respect of both our people and our customers.”

Commenting on his appointment as GCI’s new COO, Phil Smith added, “I echo Mike and Adrian’s sentiment regarding the value of teamwork as an accelerant and energiser. Our many years working together have built empathy and confidence in each other’s ability, but it was fun too and I feel the GCI alchemy will be just as good, if not better. I firmly believe that our ability to deliver a great end-to-end customer experience from first engagement through to project scoping, provisioning, service delivery and in-life support is of paramount importance. I believe the team at GCI is primed and ready to take things to the next level. I also believe that in an progressively commoditised sector, GCI will serve our customers better by developing an increasingly proactive and consultative approach. I very much look forward to evolving those aspects of our operation and honing the systems, processes and investments that underpin it.”

In closing, Adrian Thirkill added, “A few short months ago in February at our company kick-off event, GCI’s leadership team made a promise to our staff. That promise carried through to our customers, our partners and to our strategic alliances… and it was a simple message: We committed to building a solid foundation for GCI before we started our steady push through the MSP premiership. Completing the assembly of our Executive team with players made of the right stuff was a cornerstone of that commitment and I am pleased that piece is now in place. We now have hard miles ahead as we set about building an operation that fully protects, future proofs and consistently provides the best solutions and the best propositions for our customers in a rapidly changing technology landscape. We know that GCI needs to think and act differently to stand out and I am confident that we will achieve that. We have outstanding people with great potential throughout GCI and we collectively look forward to that challenge.”

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