Ritter Communications has promoted Heath Simpson to chief executive officer, the company announced Monday (Jan. 8). He will take on his new role as CEO on Jan. 31 replacing Alan Morse.
“Heath has established himself as a distinguished leader in our organization. He has the strategic vision, experience, skill set, and focus to sustain our strong momentum and carry our performance to the next level,” said Ritter Communications CEO Alan Morse. “I am confident that, under his leadership, Ritter Communications will retain and enhance its position as a regional leader in the fiber broadband and telecom space.”
Simpson joined the company in March 2020 as chief financial officer after a nationwide executive search. He brings almost 30 years of financial and operational experience with over 20 years in telecommunications at major national brands such as AT&T and Frontier Communications.
Since joining the company, Simpson has been a key contributor to the expansion of the Ritter Communications fiber-to-the-home business unit called RightFiber. In accordance with the succession plan, his scope of responsibilities gradually increased over his four years with the company. He was promoted to president and COO in late 2020 overseeing the finance, information technology, project management, customer experience, field operations, and human resources areas.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to transition into the CEO role, and I am eager to leverage my skills and dedication for the collective success of Ritter Communications,” said Simpson.
Simpson will succeed Morse, who will remain with Ritter Communications as executive chairman. In this new role, Morse will serve in an advisory capacity to ensure an effective and seamless leadership transition, retain his seat on the company’s board, and continue to contribute to strategic initiatives.
Morse joined Ritter Communications in 2014 as president and was named CEO in 2019. During his tenure, he authored the company’s strategic plan and steered it through a period of rapid expansion.
Under Morse’s leadership, Ritter Communications has grown from serving 57 rural communities to operating in over 148 communities in four states, representing a direct investment of over $300 million in network expansion. He has been a key driver of the company’s partnerships with the Arkansas and Tennessee state broadband offices to expand fiber internet service to underserved rural communities, deploying over $70 million in grant funding.
“In partnership with Alan, we have not only realized our ambitious goals, but we’ve also preserved and built upon Ritter’s legacy of excellence,” said Chad Crank, Managing Director of Grain Management, the company’s majority equity partner. “His leadership during this period of accelerated growth has driven Ritter to a new pinnacle, and he will continue to drive us forward in his new role as Executive Chairman. We’re also excited to elevate Ritter’s trajectory even further with Heath at the helm, and we’re confident in his ability to continue advancing this growth.”
“On behalf of the Ritter family, I would like to thank Alan for his exemplary leadership and for building on the family’s entrepreneurial spirit and legacy of doing Right by You. We look brightly to the future as Heath leads the company into the next era,” said Erik Kesting, CEO of E. Ritter & Company.