Chief executive of The Cloud resigns

Update: George Polk, co-founder of the Wi-Fi network operator, has quit as chief executive amid a management shake-up and rumblings of discontent

The chief executive of The Cloud has resigned as part of a widespread management shake-up at the Wi-Fi provider.

George Polk was one of two men who set up the company in 2003, growing The Cloud from a tiny start-up into the largest Wi-Fi network operator in the UK.

But among rumblings of discontent, Polk has resigned from his chief executive's role. He is now out of the country and pursuing a personal interest in climate change.

"He has stepped out of the operation business," The Cloud told ZDNet UK. "He is rarely in the office."

Polk did not return emails asking why he had moved on. It is understood that he retains a place on The Cloud's board,  and he now only visits the company's London headquarters to attend board meetings. He has been delisted from the company's phone directory.

Polk resigned in February this year, but the company swept news of his resignation under the carpet, making no public announcement. The details emerged this week, after a source contacted ZDNet UK.

Steve Nicholson, a man with a long background in private equity, has taken over as chief executive. One of Nicholson's most prominent achievements is a financial turnaround of SPG Media, a London-headquartered media company.

Polk's co-founder, Niall Murphy, is still employed at The Cloud. Another key executive, The Cloud's chief marketing officer James Saunders, has been replaced.

One reader who contacted ZDNet UK was less than enthusiastic about the company's fortunes. "You might want to look at the management changes in the last three to four months, the downsizing and how the staff see the HR department as little more than hatchet men for the new management," wrote the reader, in a message sent through the community section of ZDNet UK.

When questioned, The Cloud would not elaborate on the reasons behind Polk's departure and the wider management shake-up.

The company has laid off a number of employees, including 19 contractors.