Brightspeed promotes Tom Maguire to CEO as part of executive transition

Less than a year after Brightspeed opened for business as the fifth largest ILEC in the U.S., the company announced a slew of executive changes. Namely, Chief Operating Officer Tom Maguire will become Brightspeed’s new CEO.

Incumbent CEO Bob Mudge will transition into the role of executive chair of Brightspeed’s board of directors, where he will be responsible for the “strategic direction” of the company.

As COO, Maguire leads nearly 3,000 employees and is responsible for the deployment of Brightspeed’s multi-year fiber network – which as of April is live in six states – as well as service and repair. Prior to joining Brightspeed, he spent 37 years at Verizon, where he supported a team of 35,000 field technicians, engineering and network operations employees.

Tom Maguire
(Tom Maguire)

Replacing Maguire as COO is Manny Sampedro, a new addition to Brightspeed who’s also a veteran of Verizon.

Sampedro most recently served as the carrier’s SVP of business transformation, and prior to that he spent more than 25 years in executive positions with “significant P&L [profit and loss] responsibility” across both wireline and wireless.

The new executive appointments take effect November 1. Aaron Sobel, a Brightspeed board member and private equity partner at Apollo Global Management, called the transition “a natural next step in the team’s evolution.”

“When we began our exploration of a new internet company in 2020, Bob Mudge, Chris Creager and Tom Maguire were the advisors we trusted to help evaluate and shape the opportunity,” said Sobel in a statement.

Creager, one of Brightspeed’s co-founders along with Mudge and Maguire, transitioned into an advisory role earlier this year.

“We asked each of them to stay on to take the company through the launch and initial stabilization, and we’ve been so pleased with all that this team has accomplished so far,” Sobel continued, adding Mudge will remain “actively involved” in the company.

At Connect(X) this year, Mudge said the 20-state ILEC footprint Brightspeed acquired from Lumen is “really ripe for investment,” given it’s mostly comprised of rural and suburban areas.

Brightspeed’s fiber projects have caught the eye of Abu Dhabi private equity firm Mubadala, which in May announced plans to invest $500 million into the operator.

“I’m honored to expand my role at Brightspeed and continue to build on the legacy that Bob, Chris and I helped to establish,” Maguire said in a statement. “Brightspeed has an incredibly promising future, and it’s a true privilege to get to work alongside our talented team to bring faster, more reliable internet to millions of people who don’t have it today.”

This story has been updated to correct Maguire's tenure at Verizon.