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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
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Michael Morey

President & CEO

Bluebird Network

Location: St. Louis, MO

Founded: 1999

Industry: Telecommunications

It’s one thing to put together a great team of executive leaders. But why bother if you’re not going to listen to them? So says Michael Morey, president and CEO of telecommunications firm the Bluebird Network.

“Headstrong leadership can be powerful, but it can also be a hindrance,” he said. “Why create an amazing team if you don’t take their advice seriously? When I ‘let go’ of certain things and trusted in the delegation process, everything got better and better.”

Bluebird Network is a communications infrastructure provider and data center operator. Since 1999, Bluebird Network, headquartered in Columbia, Missouri, has provided internet and transport services to carriers and enterprises in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa and the surrounding states.

Bluebird owns two data centers: an underground facility in Springfield, Missouri, and a facility in the Quad Cities. The company operates more than 10,600 fiber route miles of high-speed broadband and fiber-optic connections.

Bluebird’s vision is to have a fiber presence in 80% of communities across its 11-state footprint with a population greater than 10,000 people. It took a step toward that ambitious goal in the last year by announcing builds of 13.6 miles of new fiber in Salina, Kansas, 11.7 miles in Waterloo, Iowa, and expansions in Carthage, Missouri, and six Illinois cities and towns.

While the company expands, it is working to decrease its carbon footprint. It created a used electronic purchasing program, electronic recycling, and a reuse and refurbish initiative; established closed-loop water systems in its data centers; and adopted LED lighting and improved cooling efficiencies at its facilities.

Morey prioritizes being a mentor and helping others become successful.

“I don’t think about getting ahead anymore. I think about helping other people become better leaders in business,” he said. “How do I measure that? I guess it’s, ‘Do I feel good about myself?’ It’s not a race; there are no winners at the end. That’s the old joke about ‘who dies with the most toys.’

“It’s not important for me to measure this, and trying to measure it would actually be counter to what’s driving me. I’m super competitive by nature and am trying really hard to turn it off because I’ve crossed the goal line of my business career. But that’s not to say I’m not continuing to push Bluebird and our company to higher and higher levels.”

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The greatest value is being around young people who are striving to accomplish new milestones. It gets me energized and allows me to be a part of their excitement and growth. It s an honor to be in a position of mentorship for others and offer advice from my experience building companies

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