Wildanet strengthens top team

L-R: Stafford Hunt, Justin Clark, Ian Calvert, Helen Wylde and Eddie Minshull

Cornwall-based broadband provider Wildanet has announced a major expansion of its top team as it accelerates its £50 million gigabit rollout to rural communities.

Founded in 2017 to deliver ultrafast, reliable broadband to communities across Cornwall, Wildanet secured a £50 million investment from the Gresham House British Strategic Investment Infrastructure Fund in December last year.

With the roll-out of its gigabit-capable fibre and wireless network gathering pace, the company has announced a series of board-level and executive appointments.

Eddie Minshull, who has over 30 years of proven leadership in the telecoms and technology industries, has joined the board as chair. Minshull has held senior roles across Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East with MLL Telecom, Juniper Networks and Alcatel, and has extensive experience of hybrid fibre and wireless telecoms networks.

Helen Wylde joins the Wildanet board as a non-executive director. Wylde’s experience includes senior sales and marketing roles with Vodafone, O2, and T-Mobile. She specialises in helping businesses to deliver growth and innovation and received the Women Business Leaders Award for Technology and Digital 2019.  Her current role is MD of East Coast Trains.

Justin Clark has joined Wildanet as chief operating officer and general manager from JT Global (Jersey Telecom), where he was head of global operations across the company’s London and Chicago offices. Clark’s career spans IT and telecoms, with a focus on operational efficiency and enhanced customer experience.

Stafford Hunt, current head of commercial development at Jersey Telecom, will shortly join Wildanet as chief marketing officer. Stafford has broad technology experience having worked for world-class organisations including Exodus Communication, Cable & Wireless, SunGard Availability Services, T-Systems and Dimension Data.

Chief executive Ian Calvert, who started Wildanet four years ago, takes on the new role of founder and deputy chair to focus on his passion delivering Wildanet’s digital inclusion agenda to rural communities across Cornwall. Calvert’s day-to-day operational duties will be taken on by Justin Clark, pending the start of a new CEO in March next year who has already been appointed but not yet named. Wildanet will also shortly appoint a chief sales officer.

Minshull said: “Wildanet is a thriving socially conscious broadband and fibre provider based in Cornwall and providing coverage across the county. I am proud that we continue to grow and expand, creating jobs and providing connectivity for Cornwall. None of this would have happened without the vision and drive of Ian Calvert our founder.

“I look forward to many more years working together to create the next phase of innovation, expansion, and growth. We are now focused on the next chapter of Wildanet’s success connecting Cornwall for a better digital future.”

Calvert added: “Wildanet is and remains a key vision and passion for me personally, especially in the battle for greater digital inclusion for all, as I assume the role of founder and deputy chair. I will continue to focus on Wildanet’s wider relationships, new business concepts, digital inclusion within Cornwall and our strategic approach to the marketplace.”