Birch names Rise Broadband vet O'Brien as EVP, COO as part of management shakeup

Birch Communications has named Jim O'Brien as its new executive vice president and chief operations officer, another move in the company's ongoing realignment of its top management team.

O'Brien comes to Birch from Rise Broadband, where he most recently served as senior vice president of customer operations and led all network and field operations, customer care, contact center and technical support groups.

He will be based at the Atlanta Operations Center, and plans to relocate to the Atlanta area. 

A 20-plus year telecom industry veteran, O'Brien served in several executive positions at notable competitive carriers including EarthLink (formerly Deltacom) and ICG Communications.

O'Brien's appointment comes at a pivotal time in Birch's history. The service provider recently named fellow Deltacom and FairPoint executive Tony Tomae as its new CEO. Tomae succeeded Vincent Oddo, who will become president and CEO of Birch's sister company Birch Equity Partners.

In addition to realigning the management team, Birch set a new path of growth for its business with a path to Canada by purchasing Primus. The acquisition meant Birch immediately expanded its service footprint with over 250,000 business and consumer customers. The deal also includes 20,000 customers in the United States and Puerto Rico.

In particular, the Primus assets will enable Birch to respond to customers that do business in Canada and are interested in expanding their existing services due to its larger footprint. Birch will be able to do battle with Zayo Group, which purchased Allstream earlier his year, in serving customers across the U.S.-Canada border.

For more:
- see the release

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