Telecommunications: CHRISTOPHER FRENCH
PRESIDENT AND CEO, SHENANDOAH TELECOMMUNICATIONS CO. (SHENTEL), EDINBURG
French, who’s been with Shentel since 1988, oversaw the $1.94 billion sale last year of Shentel’s wireless business to T-Mobile — which provided shareholders a special cash dividend of $18.75 per share.
Now, French is focused on the company’s growth strategy around its regional fiber optic network. Its home and business broadband service, branded as Glo Fiber, had a record year, the company says. First-quarter revenue grew 7.9% to $64.4 million, and total 2021 revenue was $245.2 million. Shentel employs 838 employees, 670 of whom are in Virginia.
In December 2021, Shentel and the counties of Campbell, Roanoke, Shenandoah, Franklin and Bedford received millions in state funds to expand fiber and wireless broadband access to more than 12,000 unserved homes and businesses as part of the Northam administration’s plan to expand statewide broadband coverage. Shentel began work this summer on an all-fiber network that would serve more than 8,000 locations in Rockingham County.
French earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and an MBA at the University of Virginia. He serves as a board member for the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education.