Meet our team
Neil McArthur, CEO
Neil brings over 23 years’ experience in fibre and telecoms to his role as CEO at FibreNation. As CEO and founder of Opal in 1980’s, Neil led the merger with Carphone to create TalkTalk in 2002, and then ran its technology division for 8 years. In 2018, he became our FibreNation CEO. He is a member of the Board of Governors & Finance Committee of Manchester University, and a Founder Member of the Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership. Neil is also Founder & Chairman of the Manchester Technology Trust and the Hamilton Davies Trust.
Paul Crane, Head of Engagement and Rollout
Paul has worked in the fixed and mobile telecommunications industry for over 30 years – in the UK and across the globe. He brings a wealth of business development experience on strategic programs to FibreNation. Having joined TalkTalk in 2014, he was one of the founder team members in York working on the FTTP trials. Most recently he worked on key public sector projects in Yorkshire and the Humber region to deliver connectivity and digital services to public sector, businesses, consumers and communities. Paul and his team look after engagement activities with local and national stakeholders, on selecting new build locations and communications.
Nigel Sudell, Head of IT and Operations
Nigel has been with the FibreNation program since 2017, and as our IT and Operations Director, he brings 20 years Telecomms and IT experience in start-up and corporate businesses with him. He joined TalkTalk in 2015 to work on the mobile innovation program, and before this he was part of giffgaff’s founding team in 2009, before moving to CTO in 2010 and leaving giffgaff as COO. Nigel leads all operations and IT build activities.
Darren Woods, CFO
Darren joined the FibreNation team in August 2019 as Chief Financial Officer. He has worked across a range of sectors including construction, asset rental, manufacturing, professional services and private equity, in both large and small organisations, as well as internationally. With over ten years’ experience operating at a CFO level he has headed-up progressive change programmes including mergers and acquisitions, business-wide IT implementations, supply chain restructuring and outsourcing of transactional services. Darren’s role is to lead the financial strategy within Fibrenation such that it supports delivery of the wider group vision and creates value for stakeholders. He is also responsible for managing investor relations.
Belinda Fearnley, Head of People
Belinda brings a wealth of experience and expertise across a range of human resource disciplines and organisational change. A seasoned HR professional, she has worked at a senior level across a range of industries including broadcast media and retail.
During her career, she has been pivotal in the delivery of several successful projects to promote social mobility, combat gender stereotypes in traditionally male dominated work areas and promote careers for young people from BAME backgrounds. Belinda is also a trustee of the Exceed Academies Trust, a partnership of 7 schools across Bradford, West Yorkshire.
Mike Goodwin, Head of Network Design and Optimisation
As Head of Network Design and Optimisation, Mike is responsible for the overall design, product development and innovation of the FibreNation network. Mike joined us from Hyperoptic, where he was Director of Network Operations until 2017. Previously, he was central to engineering the TalkTalk access network, including the rollout of LLU – which included unbundling over 3000+ exchanges, integrating AOL and Tiscali access networks, and driving B2B ethernet circuit provision.
Liam McLaughlin, Head of Construction
Liam is Head of Construction at FibreNation. Before his role here, he led a varied career, joining TalkTalk in 2015 as FTTP Deployment Lead, planning the E2E strategy on how to deploy a network nationally. Liam’s experience includes roles as Ofcom’s Head of Logistics for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014, and he was the London 2012 Mobilisation Manager for Ofcom in 2011, working on the Olympic and Paralympic Games. His first career was in the British Army, and Liam served in the Royal Logistic Corps for 24 years. Liam’s team look after the construction, QA and delivery activities of the entire FibreNation network.
FibreNation was acquired by CityFibre in March 2020. CityFibre is based in London and is jointly controlled by Antin Infrastructure Partners and West Street Infrastructure Partners.