Birch Names Former Deltacom, ICG Executive COO

**Editor’s Note: Click here to see which channel people were on the move in April.**

Birch Communications, the rapidly growing business communications provider, followed up its recent hiring of a CEO by announcing a new second in command on Wednesday.

Jim O’Brien, a 20-year veteran of executive roles in telecom, is Birch’s new chief operations officer and executive vice president. Partners likely will know him from his jobs at competitive carriers, including Deltacom – purchased by EarthLink in 2010 – and ICG Communications. Most recently, O’Brien was senior vice president of customer operations at Rise Broadband; there, he led all network and field operations, customer care, contact center and technical support groups.

“I am thrilled to be joining Birch at this time in its incredible 20-year history. Birch’s significant investments in network and product expansions in metro fiber, cloud services and unified communications allow for greater opportunities to streamline operations while enhancing our customer’s experience,” said O’Brien, newly appointed EVP and COO of Birch.

O’Brien officially began his new job on Monday. He is based at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta.{ad}

“I have worked with Jim in the past, and he is an experienced leader and is seasoned in infrastructure, engineering, operations, IT, and customer care,” said Tony Tomae, president and CEO of Birch. “Our operational decisions surrounding systems, processes and technology will continue to put the customer experience first as we expand organically, and Jim’s skill set is ideally suited to enhance our company’s operational excellence and the overall customer experience.”

Tomae wasted no time appointing O’Brien as his right-hand man, having only taken over the reins as CEO a couple of weeks ago. He replaced Vincent Oddo, the longtime CEO under whom Birch made 28 acquisitions. The company’s board has said it will begin focusing less on growth through acquisition and more on growing organically under the new leadership.

Upon his exit, Oddo took over the reins as CEO of Birch Equity Partners.

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