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The former leader of Alphabet's fiber business has landed at a Google-backed startup


Craig Barratt
David Hartung | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Craig Barratt

The last we heard from Craig Barratt in October 2016, he was among the high-profile leaders of Google parent company Alphabet's "other bets" to hit the exits.

Four months later, Barratt has landed at Barefoot Networks, a maker of ultrafast networking equipment that's received a healthy dose of capital from his former employer. Barratt is joining as CEO, the company said on Tuesday, taking over from co-founder Martin Izzard, who's assuming the role of vice president of technology.

At Alphabet, Barratt was running the Access business, which includes fiber broadband internet service. The company had aggressive plans to spread high-speed internet to a bunch of U.S. cities, but Alphabet's new emphasis on turning its other bets into real money-making businesses got in the way of that expansion.

Access said in October that Barratt was stepping down and also announced that it was laying off employees and pausing its move into a number of cities, including Los Angeles, Dallas and Phoenix. He was one of several Alphabet leaders to leave in 2016, including GV's Bill Maris and Craig Urmson of the company's self-driving car business (subsequently renamed Waymo).

In Barefoot, Barratt is taking over a company with plenty of Google DNA. In June, Barefoot announced a $57 million financing round led by Goldman Sachs and Google, and it previously raised money from Sequoia Capital, one of Google's major venture backers.

Last year, Barefoot unveiled the Tofino chip, a programmable chip that lets clients customize their networks. It's a familiar market for Barratt, who's spent his career in the guts of technology. Prior to joining Google in 2013, he was CEO of Atheros, a maker of chips for network systems that was acquired by Qualcomm in 2011.

Alphabet's mixed quarter