Exceptional Leadership Drives Exceptional Results
Peerless Network is proud to have such a talented group of individuals leading it through its extensive success.
President and Chief Executive Officer
John Barnicle has thirty (30) years of leadership experience in the telecommunications industry. Prior to founding Peerless Network, John was President and Chief Executive Officer for Lynch Interactive Corp., where he led the effort to take the company private. Under his leadership, the firm grew non-regulated revenue streams on a 20% annual pace, and reduced the company’s reliance on USF (Universal Service Fund) financial support.
Prior to Lynch Interactive Corp., John served as Co-founder, President and Chief Operating Officer of Neutral Tandem Inc., which he helped grow from inception to an annualized revenue run rate of over $40 million in just twenty months. Under John’s control, Neutral Tandem became EBITDA positive within twelve months of providing service and his leadership established the foundation for the company’s successful Initial Public Offering in November 2007.
Prior to Neutral Tandem, John was Co-founder, President and Chief Operating Officer of Focal Communications Corp. Focal grew from inception to having annualized revenue of over $350 million in less than six years, and John was directly responsible for all day to day activities of the company. John guided the company to an operating profit in its first full year of operations, and was involved in raising over $800 million in capital during that period, including a successful IPO in July 1999. John also held executive management roles at MFS Communications, Duff and Phelps Credit Rating Company and Centel Corporation.
Mr. Barnicle earned an M.B.A. in Finance from DePaul University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis on RF communications systems from the University of Illinois at Champaign.
Partner, Adams Street Partners
Jeffrey Diehl is currently a partner at Adams Street Partners and invests in venture and growth-oriented companies in the software, IT-enabled business services and consumer internet/media sectors.
Jeff serves on the Boards of Directors of ArrowEye Solutions, CBG Holdings, Inc., Paylocity, Peerless Network, SnagAJob, Thought Equity Motion, and WhiteFence. He is a Board Observer at Latinvest, SPS Commerce (NASDAQ: SPSC) and VocalTec/MagicJack (NASDAQ: CALL). He is a former Board Member at MxLogic (bought by McAfee) and Stratavia (bought by Hewlett-Packard).
He has also been involved with Adams Street’s investments in Adams Harris, American Wholesale Insurance, Ancestry.com (NASDAQ: ACOM), Birdseye, CBeyond (NASDAQ: CBEY), FiftyOne, Gevity HR (NASDAQ: GVHR), Kappa Smurfit (LSE: SKG.L), KPG Ventures, Setanta, Scientific Protein Labs and TicketsNow (bought by Ticketmaster).
Douglass B. Lee
Chief Financial Officer
Douglass Lee has over fifteen (15) years of telecommunications industry experience. Prior to co-founding Peerless Network, Doug served as Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer of TeleGuam Holdings, LLC (the Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier on Guam), an integrated provider of communications services in the Western Pacific, offering wire line, wireless, long distance, and broadband communication services to consumers and businesses. As a founding member for TeleGuam, he was responsible for managing all financial and accounting functions for the company, upon the company’s leveraged buyout of the government run phone company. Doug also managed corporate development, IT, strategy, investor relations, and risk management, and was part of the core team that successfully won the competitive bid over the Carlyle Group in 2004.
Doug has a wealth of financial experience both in and out of telecommunications having worked for a privately held food company as CFO, as a founding member of management in a private equity leveraged buyout of the company, as Vice President of Finance at Focal Communications and as a Senior Associate at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Doug earned his M.B.A. from Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration and a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois at Champaign. Doug is also a C.P.A.
Independent Board Member
Lynn Refer has over 25 years of experience in the competitive telecommunications industry. In addition to Peerless Networks, he currently serves on the boards of Everstream Solutions, a regional fiber optic network services provider based in Cleveland, and National Technologies, Inc., a fiber optic network deployment company based in Chicago. Lynn also served on the board of APAC Customer Services, Inc., a NASDAQ listed call center solutions company.
Lynn was most recently President and CEO of Telecom Transport Management, Inc. from 2009 through 2013, a Seattle-based company focusing on wireless backhaul services to the major wireless carriers. Prior to that, Lynn was President of Metro Network Services at Level 3 Communications where he was responsible for all network functions of Level 3’s metropolitan area fiber optics facilities. He joined Level 3 after founding Looking Glass Networks in 2000 and serving as CEO before successfully selling the company to Level 3 for $172 million in 2006.
Prior to Looking Glass Networks, Lynn was Senior Vice President of Network Planning at MCI Worldcom. Before that, Lynn had various executive level positions at Worldcom and MFS Communications after starting his telecommunications career with Ameritech in 1990. In addition, Lynn was elected by his peer companies to represent them on the board of COMPTEL, the competitive industry’s largest trade association, from 2002 to 2006. Lynn graduated from the Iowa State University College of Engineering and has a Masters in Management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.
Theodore H. Schell
Executive Partner, Siris Capital
Mr. Schell is currently an Executive Partner at Siris Capital. He has worked in the telecom industry for over 30 years, serving in a number of executive roles.
Mr. Schell served as Sprint Corporation’s Senior Vice President for Strategy and Corporate Development, and as a member of its Management Committee from 1989-2000 where he played a leading role in the founding of Sprint PCS, (a Sprint, TCI, Cox and Comcast partnership), for which he also provided strategic oversight on behalf of Sprint.
Prior to joining Sprint, Mr. Schell was the founder, President and CEO of Realcom Communications Corporation, established in 1983 and acquired by IBM in 1987. Mr. Schell also founded and has served as Chairman of Enforta, Russia’s largest and fastest growing wireless broadband access company since 2003.
Mr. Schell’s private equity and venture experience includes his roles as an MD at Associated Partners, and as a General Partner at Apax.
Mr. Schell is a member of the Boards of Directors of TNS, PGI and Enforta, and previously was a member of the Boards of Directors of Tekelec, Airvana, Time Warner Telecom, Clearwire, RCN, Comverse Technology and Flag.
Mr. Schell is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.