Bevan Slattery steps aside as Superloop chief executive

Bevan Slattery will step into an executive director role that has more oversight for 'strategic priorities' for Superloop, the company has announced.

Australian telecommunications entrepreneur Bevan Slattery has announced that he will be stepping aside as CEO of Superloop to take on an executive director role and "focus on strategic priorities" following the integration of its BigAir acquisition.

"Bevan has been a terrific CEO and as the core integration effort with BigAir is nearing completion it was becoming increasingly clear to him that his greatest value add was focusing on the strategic opportunities for Superloop," non-executive chair Michael Malone explained.

Drew Kelton will step into the chief executive role for the Asia-Pacific fibre infrastructure company on July 1, after previously serving as CEO and senior leader across Telstra International, T-Mobile Business, Bharti Airtel, DocuSign, Saturn Global, and IXNET for the past 25 years.

Kelton is additionally non-executive chair of fellow Slattery company Megaport, as well as non-executive chair of cloud security provider Firstwave, although Superloop noted in an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that he "will be reviewing his board commitments prior to his commencement on 1 July".

"I am extremely excited to be joining Superloop and to be working with Bevan. The company has quickly built a strong reputation for disruptive innovation in designing, constructing, and operating telecommunications networks and other critical infrastructure for wholesale carriers and global content providers that require infinitely scalable and reliable connectivity," Kelton said.

Kelton added that Superloop will continue "expanding our microwave and fibre-optic networks to offer customers a fully meshed pan-Asian network".

The new CEO announcement follows Superloop last month revealing its first-half revenue had grown sixfold thanks to its string of recent acquisitions.

Superloop reported revenue of AU$56 million for the first six months of FY18, up by AU$47 million, with underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of AU$12.5 million.

Net profit was AU$1.8 million following the previous year's AU$2 million loss.

According to Superloop, AU$36.4 million in revenue was attributed to BigAir, AU$2 million to its acquisition of NuSkope in October, and AU$1 million to its GX2 acquisition in November.

"The growth in revenue and earnings over the first half last year reflects our regional growth strategy and further strengthens the company's long term aspirations," Slattery said at the time.

"Our second half will see continued focus on operational improvements and efficiency while further building out our networks in Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. We have significant opportunities to continue expanding our access networks to major commercial buildings in these three countries, while hyperscaling our microwave network offering in Australia.

"The completion of the Indigo international cable systems will further expand our network so we can offer customers a fully meshed pan-Asian network."

Superloop last month also said the Indigo subsea cable would be completed ahead of schedule by the first half of 2019, as long as efficiencies are found and the weather is kind.

Being built alongside Google, Singtel, Telstra, AARNet, Indosat Ooredoo, and Alcatel Submarine Networks, the Indigo cable will span around 9,000km, connecting Sydney, Perth, Singapore, and Jakarta.

Once the Indigo cable system is complete, Superloop said it will have access to 4.5Tbps-capacity fibre, which it will be able to increase over time. It has two fibre pairs and a design capacity of 18Tbps.

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