Photographer: Julie Denesha/Bloomberg

Alphabet Taps McCray to Lead Access Unit, Including Fiber

Updated on
  • Fiber internet business lost a CEO and cut jobs in October
  • Company pursues cheaper wireless technology to expand service

Alphabet Inc. named broadband executive Gregory McCray to lead its Access subsidiary as the company tries to develop a new strategy for the internet-communications business.

With the appointment, the Access unit, which includes the high-speed Fiber internet service, is getting slimmer. Several hundred employees are moving over to Alphabet’s main Google business, according to a person familiar with the situation.

McCray used to be chief executive officer of telecom services provider Aero Communications Inc. He also sits on the board of CenturyLink Inc., one of the biggest U.S. providers of internet and phone services for businesses.

“Google Fiber has been instrumental making the web faster and better for everyone -- something I’ve been passionate about my entire career," McCray said in a statement.

The role of Access CEO has been vacant since October, when Craig Barratt, the former head of the unit, resigned. That same day, Alphabet said it was no longer expanding its fiber-to-the-home service to eight cities. It also cut about 9 percent of Fiber staff.

Alphabet’s Fiber business provides internet service at speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, many times faster than the U.S. broadband average. Barratt had big plans to expand nationwide, but Fiber’s approach of building wired networks across major urban areas was too expensive. Last year, it began exploring potentially cheaper wireless technology.

"We want to bring Google Fiber to customers faster, so we’re focused on making deployment more efficient and less intrusive," a Fiber spokesman said on Wednesday.