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Propelling Zayo into the Future with Ambition in Mind


by Steve Smith, Chief Executive Officer

Management consultant, educator, and author Peter Drucker famously said that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, pointing out the importance of the human factor in any business – and I wholeheartedly agree. People who are empowered to learn, grow and advance, as well as collaborate with each other under a shared organizational vision, are better equipped to serve the needs of customers.

At Zayo, we believe a strong company culture and clear vision give us a competitive advantage. Culture is not invented once — it constantly evolves as we adapt to the pace of change in the world. In recent months, we’ve taken a step back to chart the course for the next chapter of Zayo, asking “How do we want to be viewed both internally by our employees and externally by customers, partners and other stakeholders?”

Defining the Zayo Culture

Building a corporate identity that drives long-term growth involves taking a high-level view of the organization, the industry, our capabilities, our customers’ needs and more. That enables us to align to our long-term business strategy, create competitive advantages, and differentiate Zayo in the marketplace. We are able to build stronger customer-brand relationships and attract and retain the best talent. Purpose and culture are a catalyst for growth. Identifying our purpose and establishing a strong culture paves the road to success, as we rally around a shared vision of Zayo’s future.

Our culture begins with our people – through their actions and contributions to Zayo and commitment to our customers. So of course, our employees were involved in the evolution of our identity – through surveys, focus groups, and 1:1 conversations over the course of several months. This open, informal, and collaborative approach is the Zayo way and forms the basis for something very special going forward.

Our why, our purpose, at Zayo is we connect what’s next. It’s a nod to our heritage, as well as a look forward. Our powerful communications infrastructure solutions will serve as the backbone for leading global innovations for years to come. But it’s one thing to declare it, and an entirely different thing to make it happen, which brings us to how – our culture.

Our culture is ambitious and collaborative. We are focused on excellence and exceeding customer expectations through high performance, big ideas and a growth mindset. To that end, we have five values to follow every day:

  • Be authentic:  We bring our full selves to work. We show up every day with honesty, respect and integrity. We create an environment that embraces inclusion, fosters transparency, builds trust and supports employee well-being.
  • Drive excellence:  We surpass expectations. We deliver exceptional results. We strive for continuous improvement with ownership, discipline, and urgency. We lead by example to drive value to our customers, Investors and employees
  • WOW customers: We put our customers at the center of all we do. We have pride and passion in serving our customers. We exceed expectations with quality, speed and simplicity.
  • Think big: We set a high bar & never stop advancing. We anticipate what’s next, stay curious and act boldly. We are committed to pushing boundaries with agility. We make a difference when we connect with our global communities and customers
  • Win together: We inspire collective greatness. We collaborate proactively, bring positive energy, invite diverse perspectives and celebrate team success. We listen to and challenge one another to achieve our ambition.

“Our culture begins with our people – through their actions and contributions to Zayo and commitment to our customers”

Along with those values, three operating norms define how we interact with each other every day:

  1. Lead with trust: We always assume positive intent and back each other. We appreciate each person, honor their role and openly exchange feedback.
  2. Communicate with transparency: We welcome candor and diverse perspectives. We challenge and constructively resolve conflicts. We embrace the brutal facts with conviction in a positive resolution.
  3. Act with accountability: We do what we say we will do. We debate, conclude and commit to our decisions. We bring solutions and find a better way. We learn from our mistakes and ask for help when needed.

The Path Forward

I am excited about the work we’re doing to redefine and reinvigorate our culture and brand. Zayo’s founders helped build the early backbone of the internet and formed the company with a vision of accumulating, connecting and optimizing an unparalleled global network of networks. If we keep our priorities on team Zayo first, teammates second and self third, we will have a winning formula to carry us forward to great success into the future.

The future is now for Zayo — we invite you to come work with us today and experience the Zayo Difference as we help our customers connect what’s next.