Google Fiber loses top executive. Again

Gregory McCray. (Adtran)

After only five months on the job, Gregory McCray is stepping down as chief executive of Access, the Alphabet operation that contains Google Fiber.

No reason for the action was given. No replacement was announced.

Google’s commitment to Google Fiber has always been questioned, for many reasons. They start with the lack of a satisfactory answer to why Google even wants Google Fiber, let alone needs it.

Then, late last year, Alphabet reined in an expansion plan put in place by McCray’s predecessor, Craig Barratt. Barratt wanted to expand into another eight cities. Alphabet instead put the kibosh on those plans and laid off 9% of the workforce. That decision led directly to Barratt leaving in October. McCray was hired in February.

Then in April, Alphabet removed Access exec and Google Fiber President Dennis Kish. Also at the time, Bloomberg reported that hundreds of Access employees were being reassigned elsewhere. (However, Google's Milo Medin, formerly a Fiber executive, is still with the company, albeit in another role).

Given Google Fiber’s history, every change in plans, every setback, and every management shift reopens the question of whether Alphabet will continue to carry Google Fiber.

So while Alphabet did not comment on McCray leaving, the company was compelled to comment on its intentions regarding the business unit. Alphabet CEO Larry Page released this statement: “We are committed to the success of Google Fiber. The team is bringing gigabit connections to more and more happy customers. Fiber has a great team and I’m confident we will find an amazing person to lead this important business.”

Though neither Google nor McCray is commenting, Bloomberg reported that McCray might have poisoned his future at Access during his first companywide meeting. A memo introducing him mentioned his passion for sailing, and he was asked about it at the meeting. According to Bloomberg, he responded that his wife would often call his boat his “mistress,” quipping that every man was entitled to a mistress. Several employees complained to the HR divisions of Access and Alphabet about the comment.

Article updated July 18 with clarification on Google's Medin.