Not unlike that of many of her CFO peers, Rachel Stack’s journey toward becoming a CFO has been punctuated by pivotal transactions.
No single example of this turns out to have been more complicated or rich with lessons than what Stack refers to simply as “the take-private of Zayo.”
However, before the path forward for Zayo was made clear, there had been a moment of strategic recalibration that would test her resolve and shape her approach to future challenges.Read More
Reflecting on this period, Stack shares: “One big strategic moment has to have been when the attempted split of Zayo into two separate entities was being considered. We thought about splitting it into a fiber company and an enterprise firm.”
The plan, aimed at unlocking value and sharpening strategic focus, did not go as planned. “The market’s response was immediate and clear,” Stack recalls. “The stock was down, I want to say, by 20%.”
This moment of adversity, however, was far from a setback in Stack’s eyes. Instead, it became a defining moment that refined her strategic thinking. “It was a clear message from the market that they didn’t think that this was the way forward for Zayo,” Stack explains. The feedback from the market, which was invaluable, led Stack and her team to reconsider their strategy and ultimately reconsider the take-private transaction.
“The take-private of Zayo was a significant turning point for me,” Stack reflects. The complex negotiations, the building of relationships with different potential acquirers, and the ultimate decision to go with Digital Bridge and EQT showcased her ability to navigate through uncertainty and emerge with a strategic victory. “The whole experience was an entire adventure on its own,” she muses, on the challenges faced during the transaction.
As CFO of Cologix today, Stack tells us, she has brought these lessons to bear, as she helps to steer the company through growth and change, while never losing sight of the fact that in moments of adversity, there always lies an opportunity for growth and strategic recalibration. –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about Cologix .… what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Stack: Cologix is a very connectivity-oriented data center company focused in North America. We are primarily in Tier 2 markets in the U.S. and Canada, although in Canada we are in three majors: Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
We thrive because we have ecosystems in our data centers. A lot of our data centers have what are called “Meet Me” rooms, which are where networks connect. We really do thrive in creating networks and ecosystems among us. We have 30 cloud on-ramps, which is the most of any private provider in the North America. There are other larger public companies that may have more, but from a small-but-mighty perspective, we sort of fill that bill.Read More
From there, it’s a short leap to our digital edge platform, really, with our cloud on-ramps and ability to connect customers and develop these ecosystems. We more recently have started to develop what we call our Scalelogix platform, which is tied to larger operations. This really is tethered to our digital edge facilities in almost all cases and enables our larger customers. These could be hyperscalers or simply people who have large deployments—people who need more latency-sensitive workloads that aren’t just power but really need connectivity. We enable them to be close to the Internet so that they can connect well. We have facilities for this in Ashburn, Virginia; Columbus, Ohio; and Montreal—and we’re always looking for more opportunities. jb